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Gaetz briefs Senate committee chairs on his plans

Senate Rules Committee Chairman John Thrasher speaks to committee chairs and top staff Tuesday about procedures for handling bills in the 2013-14 legislative term, as Senate President Don Gaetz listens. Photo by Bill Cotterell.

Senate President Don Gaetz told committee chieftains to run their own committees Tuesday -- after routinely checking with him to weed out "bad bills" and those that have no realistic prospects of passage.

In a half-hour meeting with key senators and senior staff, Gaetz said "there's a balancing act" between being the boss or the coordinator of about 3,000 bills that will be introduced in the 2013-14 sessions. He said he wants committee chairs to send meeting agendas to the president's office, where four senior policy advisers will coordinate and avoid duplication or wasted effort. He promised, though, not to unilaterally add or remove bills on a committee's schedule without consulting the bill sponsors and committee leadership.

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