Jason Pizzo new Broward County delegation Chairman

Pizzo is also the Senate Leader-Designate for the 2024-26 Session.

The Senate Democratic Leader-designate for 2024-26 is also the new Chairman of the Broward County legislative delegation for the coming Legislative Session.

Sen. Jason Pizzo, whose Senate District straddles Broward and Miami-Dade counties was the unanimous choice for Chairman at the delegation’s annual organizational meeting Tuesday.

Pizzo will succeed Democratic Rep. Patricia Hawkins-Williams in the role she held for the 2022-23 Legislative Session.

“Broward County is an incredibly important and vital part of the state of Florida and it’s the engine of many things,” Pizzo said, congratulating Hawkins-Williams for her term as delegation Chairwoman.

Pizzo said being legislation delegation Chair is a lot like herding cats. The point was underscored as the required number of lawmakers present for a vote was not assembled until 15 minutes after the first roll call was taken.

Pizzo voted for himself and quipped about Rep. Chip LaMarca, the lone Republican with a district entirely contained with blue Broward County, long considered a Democratic stronghold.

“I think if Chip were here he’d vote for me,” Pizzo said.

Pizzo was Vice Chairman during the last Session and Democratic Rep. Marie Woodson will succeed him in that role. She was also elected by a unanimous vote.

The delegation of mostly Democrats faces an uphill battle in getting their priorities heard at the next Session.

The Republicans hold a supermajority in both chambers and have the procedural authority to cut Democrats out of the debate entirely.

Among those present, various approaches to improving mental health, such as getting more counselors working in the state, is a top priority, as well as property insurance measures. Others discussed the need to fix glitches that were created in last year’s legislation.

Democratic Rep. Robin Bartleman of Weston said she will work for tweaks to last year’s expansion of school choice that made it available to homeschoolers and families sending their children to private schools regardless of income. She wants the Legislature to fix an expansion of allowable expenses, she said.

“Vouchers … (are) a really big issue since our tax dollars are paying for families to go to Disney World now instead of funding public education where it needs to be,” Bartleman said.

Some acknowledged measures will be introduced with little hope of beginning to make it through the process of becoming law.

“Gun safety is of paramount importance to me whether they get the hearings or not,” said Democratic Sen. Tina Polsky, naming some of the previous legislation she’s introduced on safer gun storage and “Jamie’s Law,” a measure that would screen those purchasing ammunition, named for a victim in the Parkland school massacre. “We will always fight for that.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].

One comment

  • H. Sam Which

    September 5, 2023 at 10:54 pm

    I’ll take “It Must be a Slow News Day” for $500, Alex

Comments are closed.


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