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DeSantis Rips Congress, Praises New Colleagues During Legislative Luncheon

Ryan Dailey

Florida’s new Governor Ron DeSantis hosted state lawmakers for a luncheon shortly after his inauguration Tuesday. The leaders of both legislative chambers say they want to help DeSantis realize his agenda.

Republican Florida Senate President Bill Galvano gave a sunny take on the new day in state politics.

“It’s very appropriate that today was such a sunshine-filled day. Because that’s how it feels in the Capital,” Galvano said.

Galvano spoke for his colleagues in the Senate, promising they will help DeSantis push through policies he’s reiterated early this week during inaugural festivities.

“I can assure you that we have a fantastic Senate. Each and every one of our members brings such talent, and diverse backgrounds and work ethic to the process,” Galvano said. “So we stand ready on behalf of the Florida Senate to help you and the House do the work of the people of Florida.”

In the State House of Representatives, Speaker Jose Oliva echoed Galvano’s sentiment.

“We look very much forward to working with you on your priorities and moving this state forward,” Oliva told DeSantis.

DeSantis, calling himself a “recovering U.S. Congressman,” took some time in his speech to rip Congress for how “weak” it had become.

DeSantis said Washington legislators gave up too much power to regulatory and administrative agencies. Yet, he said the same problems have not tainted Florida’s politics.

“You guys have important jobs to do – you are not a subordinate branch to the executive,” DeSantis said. “You are an equal branch to the Executive, and you should exercise your power accordingly.”

DeSantis described Washington politics as having a “massive” Executive Branch, with everybody else left “trying to be noticed.”

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.