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Herald: Ted Deutch eyed as "Future Minority Leader"

July 8, 2007

This year, thanks to a new governor and calls for bipartisanship from state political leaders, Broward's heavily Democratic legislative delegation had a louder voice than usual in the Republican-dominated Capitol.

In addition to helping pass property tax and insurance reforms in two special sessions, several local legislators teamed up on bills that, among other things, loosened rules for local gambling venues, regulated state investments and increased penalties for leaving young children alone in a car.

Deutch, whose district covers a portion of North Broward, came to the Senate this year with no previous state government experience. But after his freshman year, he is being eyed as a future Senate minority leader.

As vice chairman of the Senate Finance and Tax Committee, he was heavily involved with crafting the Senate's property tax plans along with Sen. Steve Geller, D-Cooper City, and Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne. But the final proposal was worked out -- mostly behind closed doors -- by Republicans.

Deutch also serves as vice chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee, which handled this year's reforms to the windstorm insurance industry. And he was the main Senate sponsor of a bill -- signed by Crist in June -- to remove all state investment funds from companies that do business with Iran and Sudan.