TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Some appointments by Florida Gov. Rick Scott appear in jeopardy of getting passed up this year by the Florida Senate. Among those at the top of list: The state's surgeon general and leader of the state Department of Health.
John Armstrong isn't alone.
The Senate appears unlikely to confirm all 11 people appointed in the last year to the board charged with running fledgling Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland.
Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater and chairman of the Senate panel responsible for screening appointments, said a decision was made against confirming the university board members because the fate of the school remains "in flux.''
The school was established last year by the Florida Legislature, but it still doesn't have any students. There have been discussions about whether the university should be placed under the control of another college.
Latvala said that some senators have questioned the ability of Armstrong, a former top official at the University of South Florida medical school, to work with other officials.
"I think we have decided he should have to come back next year,'' Latvala said.
Armstrong is up for a confirmation vote on Tuesday in a different Senate committee. But if Latvala does not place him on the final list that goes before the Senate, the governor will have to reappoint him in order for Armstrong to remain in his $140,000 a year job.
Florida has a two-step process for appointments. Under state law, the governor must reappoint anyone not confirmed by the Florida Senate. If the Senate fails to act a second time then the person has to leave the position for a year.
Last year, the Senate failed to confirm more than 400 appointments made by Scott, including several agency heads and top appointments to the State Board of Education as well as university and college boards.
Latvala said that this year legislators were working diligently to confirm those reappointed a second time by the governor.
He said there was only a small number of people who would not get confirmed. One of those is the controversial chairwoman of the Valencia College in Central Florida.
*Pictured above is Gov. Rick Scott.