While none of the Republicans representing Duval County scored committee chairs in House Speaker Chris Sprowls‘ committee assignments, a number of veterans will helm subcommittees and hold No. 2 spots on the larger panels.
Rep. Cord Byrd, who represents the Beaches and Nassau County in HD 11, will be the vice chair of the Judiciary committee. Byrd, an attorney by trade with a keen interest in civil liberties issues, will chair the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Subcommittee. Expect that committee to be lively this year, given the Governor is pushing a bill cracking down on protests.
Rep. Wyman Duggan, entering his second term representing House District 15 on Jacksonville’s Westside, will join Byrd on Judiciary.
Duggan, a land use lawyer by trade, will helm the Civil Justice and Property Rights Subcommittee.
Rep. Jason Fischer, who represents Jacksonville’s Southside and Mandarin in HD 16, will chair the Government Operations Subcommittee as part of his duties on the larger State Affairs Committee. Fischer, a conservative reformer, will be interesting to watch in that role, especially in a year where cutting government will be a principal preoccupation for lawmakers.
Fischer will also serve as alternating chair of the Joint Select Committee on Collective Bargaining.
Rep. Clay Yarborough, who represents Arlington and surrounding areas in HD 12, also has two subcommittee chairs. The third-term Republican will helm the Finance and Facilities Subcommittee and the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.
Though Republicans representing Duval County did not get full chairs, people from the region did, a potential advantage to Duval County in what will be a Hunger Games budget.
Rep. Bobby Payne, whose district includes Clay County, will chair the Ways and Means Committee.
And though the future Speaker of the House does not represent Duval County, Jacksonville lawyer Rep. Paul Renner, whose district centers around Palm Coast, will chair the Rules Committee.