Following is Gov. Ron DeSantis’ State of the State address, as prepared, on the first day of the 2019 legislative session:
Following are House Speaker Jose Oliva’s remarks, as prepared, on the first day of the 2019 legislative session:
Thank you. I’d like to offer a warm welcome to all that are joining us today. Especially all of our friends and family. It is through their sacrifice and constant support that we can dedicate ourselves to this work, we thank you.
TALLAHASSEE --- It’s showtime.
When Gov. Ron DeSantis takes the podium Tuesday morning in the House chamber to deliver his first State of the State address, he will formally start the 2019 legislative session. Then the annual 60-day sprint will begin for lawmakers, lobbyists, staff members, interest groups and reporters.
The Legislature has new leaders --- Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, and House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes. But the overall direction should look familiar, as Republicans continue more than two decades of control of both chambers.
After a year plagued by problems such as red tide and algae blooms, water quality has become one of the highest-profile issues in Florida.
Gov. Ron DeSantis seized on the issue after getting sworn into office last month, releasing a wide-ranging water proposal and replacing members of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board.
But a key player in the effort to clean up waterways and coastlines likely will be a holdover from former Gov. Rick Scott’s administration: Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein.
Florida lawmakers have one more week in the Capitol to get ready for the main event.
House and Senate members will bounce from committee meeting to committee meeting during the coming week, hearing presentations and voting on bills. Then they will go home, say hello to the family, return phone calls and prepare to return for the March 5 start of the 2019 session.
Legislative sessions follow a sort of rhythm. All kinds of ideas and bills get tossed around. Then a series of committee meetings are held to begin narrowing the issues in advance of the start of the session.
It’s hard to believe a year has already passed since the unthinkable happened in Parkland.
Hard to believe it’s been a year since a gunman went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and murdered 17 students and faculty members and changed countless other lives.
But Thursday will mark the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting, as authorities continue to search for answers about how it could have happened --- and how similar tragedies can be prevented in the future.
The release of the governor’s budget proposal is a closely watched event each year in the Capitol.
Big numbers get tossed around. Reporters scramble to figure out what the governor wants. Industry groups look at how they fared.
But the truth is, the release of the governor’s budget is only a prelude to the real action. Sometime in April, that will play out as legislative leaders and staff members work behind the scenes to cut deals that will result in a new budget.
It’s safe to say former President Barack Obama and his successor, Donald Trump, don’t agree on much.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott have sparred at a distance for months.
Nathaniel “Nat” Reed, an environmental advisor for six Florida governors and assistant secretary of the interior to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, considered one of the founders of the modern conservation movement, died Wednesday. He was 84.