TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Former Florida House Speaker Allan Bense is the new chairman of the Florida Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors.

The Panama City Republican, a partner in GAC Contractors, was elected Thursday to a one-year term.

Bense succeeds Steve Halverson, president and CEO of the Jacksonville-based Haskell Co., an architectural, engineering and construction firm.

Bense served in the House from 1998 through 2006, the last two years as speaker.

He also chaired the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission. It placed seven proposed state constitutional amendments on the 2008 ballot, but the Florida Supreme Court removed three of them. Of the remaining four, voters approved three and rejected one.