Legislative chiefs name 14 to tax, budget reform panel
By STEVE Bousquet
Published February 9, 2007
TALLAHASSEE - A Pinellas teacher union leader, a former state university president and former House speaker are among the people named to a powerful statewide board to study Florida's tax and budget systems during the next two years.
The 25-member Taxation and Budget Reform Commission has the power to take proposals directly to the people in the form of proposed amendments to the state Constitution. The widespread dissatisfaction with property taxes is likely to focus increased public attention on the work of the high-powered panel, which last convened nearly two decades ago.
Senate President Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, and House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-Miami, each have seven appointments to the panel.
Gov. Charlie Crist, who has 11 appointments to the commission, has not yet announced his choices.
They include three Democrats. They are Jade Moore of Clearwater, executive director of the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association; Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, former president of Florida State University and a former American Bar Association president; and Les Miller, a former state Senate minority leader who manages minority business development and government relations for Tampa General Hospital. The other Pruitt picks are Duval County Tax Collector Mike Hogan; Susan Story, chief executive of Gulf Power Co.; Delray Beach lawyer Jacinta Mathis; and Randy Miller, executive vice president of the Florida Retail Federation.
Several have ties to former Gov. Jeb Bush. They are Patricia Levesque, executive director of Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future and a top education adviser to the former governor; Alan Levine, president of the North Broward Hospital District and Bush's top Medicaid adviser; Brian Yablonski, a St. Joe Co. executive who was Bush's deputy chief of staff; and Julia Johnson, a lawyer and technology expert who was a Bush appointee to the Public Service Commission. Rubio also appointed former House Speaker Allan Bense of Panama City, Miami lawyer Carlos Lacasa and Bruce Kyle, a circuit judge in Fort Myers. Lacasa and Kyle are former state legislators.
[Last modified February 9, 2007, 05:51:26]
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