By: Mike Wright | Citrus County Chronicle
State Rep. Ralph Massullo is looking forward to round two.
Massullo, R-Lecanto, is in his second year of the Legislature, which kicks off the 60-day term Jan. 8.
Massullo, who was elected without opposition in 2016 to his first public office, said he learned during his first session what works and what doesn’t.
What doesn’t work: Showing up senior members in public.
“I learned not to disagree with the leadership in person,” he said. “That’s a way I don’t get my bills passed.”
What works: Building relationships and helping others to achieve their legislative goals.
“We’ve built a reputation as being thorough and insightful,” Massullo said of he and aide Adele Scordato. “People know they can come to us and we’ll help them.”
Massullo’s sponsored bills include a variation on one he sponsored his first year. House Bill 311 would give high school seniors an alternative path to graduation that includes vocational training. The bill is tweaked: Last year that bill would have exempted some high school juniors and seniors from taking end-of-course and Florida Standards Assessments; this year’s bill requires students to take those tests but still allows for an alternative path to a diploma.
Neither that bill nor an identical one filed in the state Senate have been heard by a committee yet.
Massullo said he will continue to offer variations to that bill’s theme in the hopes that it eventually passes.
He also has filed what is known as a “memorial,” which goes through the normal process of a bill, including being signed by the governor, but it isn’t law. Instead it’s a request to Congress.
House Memorial 847 would ask Congress to eliminate the purchase of soda by recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
“We’d like to empower the people who use those services to make healthier choices,” he said.
Massullo also has filed and will be filing several requests for funding, including $3 million to the King’s Bay restoration; $2 million for the same program in the Homosassa River; and about $584,000 for a pair of Citrus County sewer projects.
Contact Chronicle reporter Mike Wright at 352-563-3228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.