Kathleen Passidomo tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of first committee week
Kathleen Passidomo talks about her plans as a future Senate President.

The Senate Rules Committee Chair was expected to lead meetings for senators this week.

Sen. Kathleen Passidomo has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not attend legislative committee meetings this week.

The Naples Republican alerted Senate President Wilton Simpson to her positive test in a letter sent to his office Sunday. She also shared the results on Twitter.

“In anticipation of the upcoming committee hearings & other meetings in Tallahassee this week, I took a Covid-19 test on Thursday 1/7. I learned this morning that the result of the test is positive,” she wrote. “For the health & safety of my colleagues & staff, & in accordance with FL Senate protocols, I will not be able to attend the hearings & meetings in person this week.”

Monday marks the beginning of the Senate’s interim meetings before the Legislative Session begins in March. Passidomo is the Senate Rules Committee Chair and is expected to be the Senate President for the 2022-24 term.

Passidomo has “mild, cold-like symptoms” and will participate this week from abroad.

She was expected to host a procedural briefing for Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs Monday afternoon. Simpson and Passidomo will discuss Sunday evening whether to have Passidomo host that meeting over the phone or to delay the briefing until the next committee week, which begins Jan. 25.

“We have important work to do to support Floridians through this challenging time,” Passidomo said.

Passidomo has served in the Senate since 2016 and was the Majority Leader from 2018 to 2020.

The Senate will accommodate remote testimony during committee weeks this year to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The upper house is partnering with Florida State University to use the Leon County Civic Center to screen live committee meetings and to let the public testify.

Simpson tested positive last month, ahead of a scheduled pre-Session briefing with reporters.

Other members of the Senate have also tested positive including freshmen Republican Sens. Jennifer Bradley and Ray Rodriguez and Democratic Sen. Shevrin Jones.

Rep. Randy Fine, a Palm Bay Republican, was hospitalized with the coronavirus in August.

Rep. Geraldine Thompson, a Windemere Democrat, revealed on Saturday she had tested positive.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


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