Jack Latvala is one of the few Floridians who's been returned by voters to the State Senate on two separate occasions. He first served in the Florida Senate from 1994 to 2002.
During that time he served as Senate Majority Leader, was named by the Wall Street Journal as a rising star and was consistently ranked as one of the top 10 most effective Senators in an annual survey by the Miami Herald. During those first eight years, Senator Latvala sponsored significant pieces of legislation that ultimately became law -- including Florida Forever, the highly touted land preservation program; creation of Tampa Bay Water, a national model for regional water supply planning; and the outlawing on predatory title loans in Florida.
Latvala then focused on his business interests after leaving the Senate in late 2002 but was motivated to run again in 2009 after the state House of Representatives voted to allow oil drilling within three miles of our Gulf beaches. Latvala was concerned about the ecological effect and impact on 90,000 tourism-based jobs in his home county if an oil spill occured in those Gulf waters. His passion for protecting our state's precious environmental resources brought him out of political retirement, and voters convincingly returned him to the Senate.
Based on his results, Senator Latvala has received nearly 200 honors and awards for his legislative service and accomplishments. Remarkably, Senator Latvala has been named "Legislator of the Year" over 40 times by a wide range of statewide groups including: law enforcement, first responders, environmentalists, business groups, medical associations and educators.
Senator Latvala has been involved in helping craft the major policy decisions impacting Florida for nearly two decades. Combining both of his terms of service, more than 175 pieces of legislation sponsored by Senator Latvala have become law.
During the 2015 session, he passed legislation requiring Duke Energy to refund $600 million to customers in Florida; reformed laws prohibiting bulk purchasing of condos which required owners to sell for pennies on the dollar, and ended Florida's last in the nation status of banning 64-ounce growlers which stifled the growth of small microbreweries in Florida.
Senator Latvala represents Florida's 16th District, which includes Largo, Clearwater, Belleair, Safety Harbor, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and Oldsmar.
He currently serves as Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, overseeing the State of Florida's budget in the upper legislative chamber.
Senator Latvala has been a Florida resident for almost 50 years and lives in Clearwater. He owns printing company in Largo, a car wash in Steinhatchee and enjoys spending his time with his two children and two grandchildren.