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Florida Senate Panel To Review COVID-19 Response

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
State Sen. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, will chair the Select Committee on Pandemic Preparedness and Response.

The select committee will review the state's response to the pandemic and identify areas for the Legislature to make improvements, Senate President Wilton Simpson said.

A new state Senate committee will review Florida’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and plan for future emergencies, Senate President Wilton Simpson announced Wednesday.

The Trilby Republican named Sen. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, to chair the Select Committee on Pandemic Preparedness and Response. Burgess was elected to the Senate in November after a stint as executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

“The select committee will review all facets of the state response to the ongoing pandemic, and identify, as necessary, areas where there may be a specific role for the Legislature to make improvements to benefit our state moving forward,” Simpson said in a memo to senators.

House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, made similar comments last month when he put Ormond Beach Republican Tom Leek in charge of a new House Pandemics & Public Emergencies Committee.

With the pandemic causing massive damage to businesses and tax revenues, state economists have estimated lawmakers will be working with a potential budget shortfall of about $2.7 billion for the 2021-22 fiscal year and $1.9 billion for the following budget year.

Jim Turner - News Service of Florida