Florida Political and Governmental Newsmakers in 2011
These government and political leaders were exceptionally notable during the past year.
[Photo: Steve Cannon/AP]
Adam Putnam spent his first year as state agriculture commissioner dramatically expanding the position's role and impact. Among other moves, Putnam took over the state Energy Office from the Department of Environmental Protection and is changing the office's role from grant-maker to policy-driver. He's also launched an audit of all the state grant and federal stimulus money the energy office handed out to alternative-energy projects in Florida and will report to the Legislature where the money went and how the investments fared.
Putnam, a Republican from Polk County, convinced the U.S. Department of Agriculture last year to approve a special waiver transferring the responsibility of providing school lunches in public schools from Florida's Department of Education to his Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He is working to better connect Florida's school districts with local farmers, boosting the state's agricultural commodities while bringing more fruits and vegetables to schoolchildren.
— Cynthia Barnett