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Senator gets elevated role


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  • | 11:00 a.m. November 3, 2017
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The Galvano family held a big celebration in Tallahassee late last month.

The occasion? State Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, was unanimously chosen as president-designate for the 2018-20 legislative term. Galvano, assuming he wins re-election for his seat, District 21, will take over for Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, at the end of the 2018 term. Galvano's wife, three children, parents, in-laws and other relatives and friends were among the attendees at a nomination ceremony held in the capital Oct. 24, according to Sunshine State News.

State Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, Senate president from 2004-06, nominated Galvano. State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, seconded the nomination. A lawyer, Galvano was first elected to the Senate in 2012, and served four terms in the House from 2002 to 2010. He helped draft the Seminole Compact, and has long been considered a state expert in gaming legislation — a topic expected to come up in the next legislative session.

Galvano addressed the Tallahassee press corps after the ceremony, including an interview with Florida Politics, a well-read political insiders blog. Excerpts from that interview:

Not counting gaming, what will be your legislative priorities as Senate president?

First and foremost, I view the role of a presiding officer as one of service, not only to the state but to the other 39 members of the Senate who I hope will elect me as their president next November. I have told those who supported me for this position that I will look first to other senators for guidance and direction and that I want to work together to address the issues before us. Some of the major issues I have discussed with a number of senators include: modernizing our infrastructure, including security and in particular cybersecurity; reviving the citrus industry; continued support of our higher education system, including the Florida College System; revisiting how we serve people with unique abilities; continued action to address the opioid problem facing our state; and promoting new trade opportunities.

You'll be the second lawyer in a row to be president. How does that help you lead and legislate?
I started working at my law firm as a teenager and have been there full time since graduating from law school in 1992, so over nearly 30 years I've had the opportunity to serve the firm in many different capacities, before and after being admitted to the bar. Inherently, a law firm is a business, and we face many of the same challenges and have the same opportunities as other businesses in our state. I think that experience with the day-to-day administration of a business in our state, in addition to the practice of law, has helped frame my view of many of the issues that come before the Legislature.I started working at my law firm as a teenager and have been there full time since graduating from law school in 1992, so over nearly 30 years I've had the opportunity to serve the firm in many different capacities, before and after being admitted to the bar. Inherently, a law firm is a business, and we face many of the same challenges and have the same opportunities as other businesses in our state. I think that experience with the day-to-day administration of a business in our state, in addition to the practice of law, has helped frame my view of many of the issues that come before the Legislature.

 

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