The Florida Cabinet is a body of the government of Florida that engages in the collective governance of the state.
Created following Reconstruction, when there had been a widespread distrust of the governors appointed by the federal government, the cabinet was designed to decentralize authority from the Governor.
Until January 7, 2003, Florida was unique among states in that its cabinet consisted of six independently and constitutionally elected members who each held an equal vote with the state Governor in executive decisions. The original Cabinet positions were:Attorney General
Commissioner of Agriculture
Commissioner of Education
Secretary of State
Treasurer/Insurance Commissioner/Fire Marshal
In 1998, Florida voters voted to amend the Florida Constitution to shrink the Cabinet from these six members to its current three members. This amendment took effect in 2003, following the 2002 election.
Under the reforms adopted, the Secretary of State and Education Commissioner became appointed officials under the Governor who would oversee their respective agencies, while the positions of the Comptroller and the Treasurer/Insurance Commissioner/Fire Marshal were combined into the position of the Chief Financial Officer of Florida.
The Cabinet lost its control over the Florida Department of Education; management of K-12 education and community college education which was shifted to the new Florida Board of Education and management of the State University System of Florida to the new Florida Board of Governors. Some environmental policy powers of the Cabinet were shifted to other officials as well. The reforms were seen as ways to strengthen the power of the Governor.
The meetings of the Governor and Cabinet are chaired by the Governor, currently Rick Scott, and consists of three cabinet members:Chief Financial Officer, currently Jeff Atwater
Attorney General, currently Pam Bondi
Commissioner of Agriculture, currently Adam Putnam,
Each member is popularly elected by the state and carries one vote in executive decisions. In the case of a tie, the vote cast by the Governor decides the outcome.
The Governor and Cabinet serves as the board of directors of several state agencies and during their bi-weekly meetings discuss agency business and make policy decisions for the agencies. The Governor and Cabinet, all statewide officials, also oversee the separate offices and agencies under their departments. The Governor and Cabinet oversees the following agencies:State Board of Executive Clemency
State Board of Administration (excluding the Commissioner of Agriculture)
Division of Bond Finance
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Department of Law Enforcement
Department of Revenue
Florida Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission
Electrical Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Board
The Board of Trustees Internal Improvement Trust Fund
Financial Services Commission
The Governor and each member of the Cabinet has an office dedicated to Cabinet affairs. These offices are headed by a Chief Cabinet Aide, who is assisted by other aides. The week prior to a Cabinet meeting, the Cabinet aides meet to discuss the agenda and to conduct preliminary discussions on a variety of issues slated to come before the full Cabinet. Cabinet aides meetings are considered an important part of the Cabinet process.
The state of Florida employs about 227,479 workers to execute the will of the legislature under the direction of the governor and cabinet officials.
27,479 state employees receive free medical insurance premiums including members of the legislature . Another 200,000 state workers and university employees paid $600 annually for medical insurance for individuals, $2,160 annually for families. Average contributions nationwide were $779 annually per individual, $3,515 annually for families.