Governor would get to appoint FHSAA board under new Florida bill

Bill would amount to new powers for Florida governor

Gov. DeSantis discusses tax relief. (WPLG)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A bill going through the Florida Legislature would give Gov. Ron DeSantis control over the board of the nonprofit group that oversees school sports in the state.

The Florida High School Athletics Association, the private entity that has managed school athletics for around a century, currently has a 16-member board appointed from public and private school officials. The Florida education commissioner or his representative, as well as three board members appointed by the education commissioner, also sits on the board.

State Rep. Fred Hawkins, R-St. Cloud, filed an amendment to his bill, HB 225, on Wednesday that reduces the size of the board to eight and gives all of the appointments to the governor.

The bill with the amendment passed the House Education Quality Subcommittee 15-2 on a party-line vote. The bill next goes to the House Education and Employment Committee.

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The FHSAA came under fire recently after its medical board recommended making questions about menstruation mandatory on a student athlete’s physical forms and forwarding those forms to the school, instead of keeping them with the attending physician. The backlash was so severe that the group’s board voted to get rid of the questions completely instead.

A similar bill in the Florida Senate does not have the amendment.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.