Oviedo, Florida , United States
|| May 21, 1958
Oct 08, 2015 07:46pm
Married - Presbyterian -
|Info||State House Speaker, Attorney & '94 Lt. Governor Nominee |
Tom Feeney graduated in 1980 from Penn State with a B.A. in Political Science and obtained his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1983. In 1990, Tom was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, where he served his first two terms.
When he was elected, one of Tom's primary goals was to expand choice and opportunities in kindergarten through 12th grade education. He quickly became one of Florida's leading advocates for educational choice. In August of 1992, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) voted Tom National Outstanding Legislative Member of the Year for his work on education reform.
He is the first freshman to ever win this prestigious National Award from the American Legislative Council, a national organization of business and legislative leaders. The American Legislative Exchange Council has selected his legislation on Parental Choice in Education as model legislation. He has been Chairman of The American Legislative Exchange Council's national task force on education reform.
In 1994, Tom joined Jeb Bush as his candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Florida. After a seven way Republican primary, the BUSH/FEENEY ticket lost the general election against incumbent Lawton Chiles by a margin of only 1%.
In 1994, Tom accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors of the prestigious James Madison Institute, a Florida-based research and educational organization whose mission is to keep the citizens of Florida informed about their government. He later served as director of the James Madison Institute, and in March of this year became the Institute's fifth recipient of the James Madison Award for Public Service.
In March 1995, Tom served as the International Republican Institute Ambassador to the Macedonian government. He spent time in Macedonia lecturing political leaders in this new democracy on policy, political strategy and constitutional government.
In April of 1996, Tom was re-elected to The Florida House of Representatives for District 33, representing East Orange, East Seminole and Southwest Volusia Counties.
Since his return to the Florida House, Tom has been at the forefront of education, litigation and welfare reform, implementing ideas that he campaigned on in his first election. His ideas on welfare reform have dramatically altered Florida's welfare system, resulting in over 500,000 Floridians leaving the state's welfare rolls and joining the workforce. Education reforms include increased spending on public education (52.5% of Florida's current budget) and a successful "A+ Education Plan" that has resulted in no failing schools in the state of Florida.
Tom was unanimously elected by his peers as Speaker-designate in August of 1999 to serve as Speaker of The Florida House beginning November of 2000.
On November 21, 2000, Tom Feeney was sworn in as the 6th Republican Speaker of The Florida House of Representatives since statehood in 1845, the third in the past one hundred years.
On May 20, 2001, The Miami Herald ranked Tom among the most effective legislators of the year, stating, "Feeney, a small government, anti-tax advocate�was the ideological voice of the House." Tom was honored to be the featured keynote speaker at the 2001 G.O.P.A.C. meeting.
Tom Slade, past Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida said "Feeney is the most philosophically disciplined and principled member of state government that I've ever known." (Florida Today, Thursday, November 2001).
In April of this year, Tom Feeney was honored to be the guest lecturer at the Heritage Foundation. His lecture, "Good Policy is Good Politics" has been printed by the Heritage Foundation and made available to the public on their website. In his lecture, Tom chose to look back at the political journey of the last one hundred years, however in his conclusion, Tom looked to the future. "With your help, I promise to go forth and minister so that we can have at least another 225 years of the Republic our Founders gave us."
Tom is currently practicing Real Estate and Business Law in Orlando, and is active in a wide variety of political and community activities. Tom is married to the former Ellen Stewart and is the proud father of two sons, nine-year-old Tommy and three-year-old Sean Patrick.
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