With Republicans’ tighter grip on the Florida Legislature, on Tuesday, formal elections of the next leaders of the House and Senate saw well-deserved shots at Democrats whose voices are now more muted.
House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island) and Senate President Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) will lead the two chambers with overwhelming Republican majorities. In the House, Republicans have a supermajority of 80 seats to Democrats 38, with two seats to be decided in a special election. In the Senate, Republicans hold 25 to Democrats 14 seats, with one special election yet to be held.
“Across this nation, the voters rejected failed big government policies that over-promised and under-delivered. They rejected slick politicians who believe in nothing and will say anything just to get elected,” Crisafulli declared, The Palm Beach Post reported. “Yes, the voters have spoken, and they told us they want leaders who understand what it takes to get our economy going again. They expect competency from their government. They expect us to get the job done.”
Gardiner expressed his pleasure at Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election saying: “I can’t tell you how happy I was to see Gov. Scott here today.”
Rep. Mark Pafford (D-West Palm) is the new House Minority Leader and Senate Democrats named Sen. Arthenia Joyner, a Tampa lawyer, to be their leader.
Issues like increasing the minimum wage and Medicaid expansion on which Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist campaigned will now likely be shelved, House and Senate Democrats acknowledged.