From Sarasota Herald Tribune . com   March 5, 2019
Kicking off his first legislative session as Senate president, Bradenton Republican Sen. Bill Galvano called on lawmakers to focus on a “Florida agenda” and not their personal agendas, saying he will do the same.
“I will not judge the success of this session by my personal agenda,” Galvano said.
Galvano, 52, is the first lawmaker from Sarasota or Manatee counties to preside over a chamber of the Legislature since former Senate President John McKay, who ran the chamber in 2001 and 2002.
McKay’s tenure was marked by efforts to boost a number of local institutions, including New College of Florida, the Ringling Museum and the University of South Florida Sarasota Manatee. His personal agenda was a big part of his legacy.
Many Southwest Florida community leaders are hoping Galvano also works to put his mark on the region.
Despite saying Wednesday that what’s good for Florida would take precedence over his personal desires, Galvano also has pledged to advocate for community priorities. He is looking to boost funding for Mote Marine Laboratory to fight red tide and has been a champion for New College’s growth plan, which requires an influx of recurring state funds.
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Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is a top-ranked public liberal arts college and the state’s Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in arts, humanities and sciences, a master’s degree program in applied data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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