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Dean Cannon: Better Florida Economy Means Fewer Fights in Session

February 27, 2015 - 6:00pm

Calling himself a recovering politician," former House Speaker Dean Cannon offered some insights as the Florida Legislature gets ready to convene on Tuesday.

Speaking at a Federalist Society event at Walt Disney World on Saturday, Cannon said he expected a fairly benign legislative session, noting that Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, were working together on their main priorities.

Comparing it to past sessions, Cannon said he expected less acrimony between the two chambers.

The fights will be less intense because Floridas economy is better today than it was when I left office in 2012, Cannon said, though he added there will be skirmishes.

Cannon noted when he wielded the gavel, the economy left little choice but for legislators to make cuts since they would not raise taxes to balance the budget. He contrasted that with the current situation, saying he expected that additional revenue would ensure a better budget process without the conflicts in both 2010 and 2012.

During his time in the House, Cannon often looked to rein in the judiciary and he weighed in on that branch of government on Saturday.

Looking ahead to the coming session, Cannon said he hoped there would be adequate funding for the judicial branch in the coming budget. Cannon called for adequate salaries for judges, employees in the state attorneys and public defenders offices and across the judiciary branch. Cannon also praised Gov. Rick Scotts, R-Fla., choices to serve on the bench.

Elections do matter but judicial appointments matter more, Cannon said, noting judges often hold far longer tenures than elected officials.

Since leaving the Florida House due to term limits after the 2012 elections, Cannon formed Capitol Insight, a lobbying firm, with former Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul.

Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

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