Orange County’s newly-minted legislative delegation today announced that its first gathering will be on Dec. 17, and once seated, it’s new complexion will have gone from deep red to blue.
Orange’s last lawmaking crew was made up of 12 Republicans and four Democrats. Now Democrats hold eight elected posts, and Republicans just six.
The new delegation will meet from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 17 in the Orange County Administration Building at 201 S. Rosalind Ave. in Orlando. The deadline for requesting some time in front of them is Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. Here’s more details on how to get on the agenda to address Orange’s Tallahassee leadership.
This first meeting could mark the start of one of the more ineffective periods for the delegation, since Republicans still firmly control the House and Senate.The delegation also lost two top Republicans in past Speaker Dean Cannon to term limits, and future Speaker Chris Dorworth to a stunning election upset.
Aside from carrying more blue Democrats into a red Tallahassee run by Republicans, the new Orange delegation is also decidedly green. Of its nine House members, five are rookie Democrats: Randolph Bracy, Karen Castor Dentel, Joe Saunders, Linda Stewart and Victor Torres.
But as Orange County Commissioner Ted Edwards recently pointed out, the new legislative crew may fight for such measures as a rental-car surcharge, an issue local GOP lawmakers had no interest in pursuing. The rental car tax could pay for Central Florida transit needs, and many local leaders support it.