Growing up in Florida, Bill Galvano spent most of his childhood in Bradenton. The Galvano family, including Bill’s 5 brothers and sisters, later moved to Sebring.
After graduating from Sebring High School, Bill worked his way through college and law school. He earned an associate’s degree from Manatee Community College, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami, School of Law. While he was attending college and law school, he worked his way up from a custodian and courier to an associate attorney at the 94 year-old law firm, Grimes Goebel Grimes Hawkins Gladfelter & Galvano of Bradenton. He made partner four years later.
Bill and his wife Julie have been married for 23 years and are the proud parents of three children: Michael, William, and Jacqueline.
Over the last 20 years, Bill and his family have brought the community together to raise millions of dollars for public schools to provide enhanced educational opportunities for students and teachers through the Phil Galvano Golf Classic. The tournament is named after Bill’s father, whose legacy in Manatee County stems from his acclaimed career in golf and his love of learning.
In addition to public education Bill has championed other community issues. For example, Bill is an advocate and supports programs for the homeless including the Bill Galvano One Stop Center, which provides comprehensive services to the homeless.
Bill was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2002 and soon became well known for his dedication to policy and tackling controversial issues. Throughout his career he has prioritized defending those who are not always able to defend themselves. He fought to insure the Agency for Persons with Disabilities continues to provide the services needed by those who depend on it. He sponsored and passed legislation to make sure citizens were made aware when environmental contamination impacts their communities. In 2007, after holding hearings around the state, Bill helped pass legislation to create the Office of Child Protection, now the Office of Adoption and Child Protection. In his final term, Bill served as Chairman of the Rules and Calendar Council, Chairman of the Select Committee on Seminole Indian Compact Review and Chairman of the Select Committee on Standards of Professional Conduct. He sponsored legislation to create the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority so it could better handle the traffic issues in the area.
In 2012, Bill decided that there was still more work to be done in Tallahassee. He ran and was elected to the Florida Senate, where he has served for the past four years. During this time, he has fought for our parents and students by supporting several major education issues, such as increasing performance accountability for public schools, expanding the Florida Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program, and making the Florida prepaid program more affordable.
In 2014, Bill became the Senate’s Republican Majority Leader. As such, he has worked tirelessly as the head of the Republican Caucus to help pass legislation: allocating the highest level of K-12 per student funding in the history of our state, securing long-term, comprehensive policy to protect Florida’s water resources and natural environment, finalizing a pathway to economic independence for people with unique abilities, and reducing student assessments while maintaining a commitment to education accountability. Lastly, he has partnered with Commissioner Adam Putnam to work with the leaders of the citrus industry to try and find the best ways to combat citrus greening.