CREATED Mar. 15, 2012
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Fox 4 is digging deeper into why your state senators dropped the ball on taking care of your community but still made plenty of time to hear themselves speak.
Four In Your Corner's Colleen Hogan is continuing to ask why they ended their session in Tallhassee this week without confirming hundreds of appointees.
Senate leaders say they ran out of time to confirm the governor's appointees, including those on the Edison Board of Trustees. And that has one Edison board member sounding off.
When the governor nominated Pam Seay to the Edison Board of Trustees, it was to help the college fix it problems.
"We are in turmoil," Seay said.
Turmoil she thought would end as state senators seemed likely to confirm her appointment.
"I've received notification from the ethics committee and the elections committee in Tallahassee," she said. "They said, no problem."
But senators left last week without approving Seay or the hundreds of other nominees.
"All the ones that were paid I think got approved," she joked. "Those of us who are volunteers did not."
Volunteers make up the boards of hospitals, schools, prisions and water districts.
"Was this political?" Seay questioned. "Was this a message to be sent? I don't know."
For the second day in a row, Fox 4 reached out to Senate President Mike Haridopolis. His spokesperson sent this emailed statement:
"The Senate simply ran out of time to confirm all executive appointments on the last day of the session - we had a number of pressing issues to get to that day, and as you may know we didn't Sine Die until just before midnight and had we worked beyond that it would have been necessary to adopt a continuing resolution. Additionally, we prioritized the appointments we did make (8 individuals) as had those individuals not been confirmed by the Senate this session they would be ineligible for appointment to that position in the future. Also there were upwards of 300 people eligible for Senate confirmation (which would have taken a good deal of time to get through) who will remain eligible for confirmation through the 2013 Legislative Session."
Fox 4 also called the senators whose districts include Edison's campuses.
Only Senator Garrett Richter called back, saying in a phone message, he's not the one who sets the agenda.
"The farewell speeches have been the tradition," Richter said in a voicemail. "My personal opinion is, while they were fun and enjoyable, they did take up a significant portion of time."
By law, the governor has 45 days to reappoint those 400 people or he can choose to leave the positions vacant.
Wednesday a spokesperson for the governor said the positions are all under review. If they're reappointed, they'll have to be approved next legislative session.
Colleen Hogan, reporter