Tallahassee, FL - 54 new members of the Florida Legislature were sworn into office today in Tallahassee, giving the GOP the largest majority it has ever had. Bouyed unexpected victories and a growing anger among voters, the GOP led legislature is taking a turn to the right.
Republicans wore red roses…Democrats blue….there were five fewer blue roses this year as 54 new members were sworn in. Republican Dennis Baxley is one of the House’s most conservative members and he says they have heard voter anger. “Clearly there has been established by this election, a clarification of principals that we are going to live within our means,” said Baxley.
The election of Mike Haridopolos to the Senate Presidency marks a clear turn to the right. In his acceptance speech, Haridopolos said “We face a two-and-a-half billion dollar short fall and we have two options: to raise taxes or to spend less. We will spend less,” Mike Haridopolos, Senate President, said.
Republicans have been in control here since 1996, but this is the first time they have had a super marjority.
Jobs will continue to be a top focus…but other conservative ideas are coming back…merit pay for teachers….medicaid reform that includes more immunity for Doctors. Democrats like Scott Randolph are powerless to stop the shift right.
” So lets get this right” says Randolph. “The Republicans are wanting to socialize the risk of medicaid by giving doctors sovereign immunity,” Scott Randolph, D - Orlando, said.
Lawmakers flexed their new found muscle by over turning some Charlie Crist vetoes. They also are allowing the use of Federal Stimulus money to pay solar and other promised rebates to more than 13 thousand families that have been waiting for a year or longer.