The Senate on Friday called a last-minute audible after mistakenly sidelining three lawmakers from budget committee assignments.
The Senate’s original roster left Criminal Justice Chairman Jason Pizzo and Judiciary Chairman Jeff Brandes off of the Appropriation Conference Committee on Criminal and Civil Justice.
Speaking to reporters Friday, Appropriations Conference Committee Chairwoman Kelli Stargel said the decision took into account the lawmakers’ shared differing opinion on the Senate’s prison consolidation plan.
“They weren’t excited about where the Senate was going so we thought it best not to put them in the position of having to negotiate a budget…” Stargel said. “I know they voted for it in the end and we’re all in very good relationship and everything is fine, but when it comes to the nitty gritty, we thought it was best not to have them.”
Moments later, however, Stargel updated reporters, saying that Senate President Wilton Simpson decided to include the pair.
“I was just informed that the President has made the decision to add Senator Pizzo and Senator Brandes to a conference committee,” Stargel said.
On Twitter, Kathy Mears, who serves as the Senate President’s Chief of Staff, explained the original assignments were “published in error.”
“There was a recommendation to keep them off because of their vote,” Mears wrote. “President Simpson did not accept the recommendation, but the recommended list was published in error. That was the source of the confusion.”
Sen. Bobby Powell was also omitted.
The latest committee assignments are below:
Appropriations Conference Committee led by Chairwoman Kelli Stargel.
Senators: Aaron Bean, Lauren Book, Gary Farmer, Debbie Mayfield, Kathleen Passidomo, Keith Perry and Darryl Rouson.
Appropriations Conference Committee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government led by Chairman Ben Albritton.
Senators: Loranne Ausley, Lori Berman, Jim Boyd, Jennifer Bradley, Jason Brodeur, Ileana Garcia, Debbie Mayfield, Ray Rodrigues, Linda Stewart and Perry Thurston.
Appropriations Conference Committee on Criminal and Civil Justice led by Chairman Doug Broxson.
Senators: Janet Cruz, Manny Diaz, Audrey Gibson, Joe Gruters, Travis Hutson, Tina Polsky, Tom Wright, Jeff Brandes and Jason Pizzo.
Appropriations Conference Committee on Health and Human Services led by Chairman Aaron Bean.
Senators: Lauren Book, Jason Brodeur, Danny Burgess, Manny Diaz, Gary Farmer, Gayle Harrell, Shev Jones, Ray Rodrigues, Ana Maria Rodriguez and Darryl Rouson.
Appropriations Conference Committee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development led by Chairman George Gainer.
Senators: Loranne Ausley, Jim Boyd, Janet Cruz, Ileana Garcia, Audrey Gibson, Ed Hooper, Debbie Mayfield, Keith Perry, Annette Taddeo and Tom Wright.