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Early win? Bill Galvano’s transportation priority surfaces in House

The Senate President wants to, among other things, extend the Suncoast Parkway to the Florida-Georgia line.

New legislation in the House reflects the chamber’s willingness to consider one of Senate President Bill Galvano‘s top priorities.

The House Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday is slated to take up a committee bill modeled after the Senate plan (SB 7068).

That panel’s chair, Panama City Republican Jay Trumbull, was not available after the House’s Wednesday floor session.

One project in the legislation would extend the Suncoast Parkway to the Florida-Georgia line.

Also included is the expansion of the Florida Turnpike to connect with the Suncoast Parkway. Another provision would build a new highway connecting Polk and Collier counties.

Galvano, a Bradenton Republican, outlined the projects in January. He described them as part of his vision to expand roadways through the rural “spine of the state.”

The measure quickly appeared in the Senate this Session and has one more committee stop before it heads to the floor.

But the plan took a while to pop up in the House, leading some to speculate whether House Speaker José Oliva would take up one of his Senate counterpart’s initiatives.

“I am pleased to see the issue moving in the House, and look forward to working with Speaker Oliva and the Florida House on important issues related to infrastructure as we move forward,” Galvano said in a prepared statement.

Oliva, speaking to reporters earlier this month, said he believes “one of the few functions of government is creating infrastructure.”

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