Changing of the Guard

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

New members are moving in, retiring legislators moving out. Furniture is stacked in the capitol hallways awaiting office assignments.

Incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolus took the symbolic step of taking the doors of his office off the hinges, suggesting a new openness. A similar stunt in 1971 propelled then Secretary of State Dick Stone to the U.S. Senate.

‘If I believe a budget item should be there, I want it out there in the public eye, for people to make an up or down decision on it,” Haridopolos said. “I feel confident that if we articulate our position well, we’ll win the vote.”

State lawmakers were poised to take control of a state agency away from the governor. Now they say they’re willing to give the new governor the benefit of the doubt.

Lawmakers upset with the agency that constructed a new 49 million dollar appellate courthouse planned on moving control of the Department of Management Services out of the Governor’s office, but are now reconsidering.

“When the governor-elect expressed some concerns about our potential veto override, we’re giving him every consideration,” Haridopolos said.

Weary Democrats come back with fewer numbers in the House and Senate, promising to work to get along.

“At least in the beginning, we want to work with them,” House Minority Leader designate Ron Saunders said. “We want to show some cooperation because there are some things we may agree on.”

In a new family friendly era, lawmakers are promising to elect new officers and deal with vetoes, and still be out of town by Tuesday’s 6 p.m newscast.

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