Cannon defends “this House”by John Kennedy | March 8th, 2011
House Speaker Dean Cannon kicked off the 2011 session by delivering an opening address that was a fast-paced call to action.
Riffing off the theme, “This session, in this House,” Cannon laid out plans for lawmakers to overhaul Medicaid, revamp the court system, introduce teacher merit pay, steer clear of Washington hand-outs, and cut state spending by billions of dollars.
He also condemned the politics of catchy labels, criticizing such lines as “Eight is Enough,” “The Anti-Murder Act,” but avoiding any mention of new Gov. Rick Scott’s signature, “Let’s Get to Work.”
“A catchy label doesn’t make a bad idea good,” Cannon, R-Winter Park, told House members, seated in the chamber behind mountains of desktop flower arrangements, with family members at their elbows.
He also offered the reminder, “As we move forward to put together the 2011-12 budget, I would ask all of you to recall this basic truth – you cannot cut government spending without cutting government services.”
“This session, in this House, we will pursue policies to create a business climate that encourages entrepreneurship and remembers that private risk taking, not government incentive programs, create jobs.”
”This session, in this House, we will finally deal with a Medicaid program that spreads like a cancer, each year consuming more and more of the State budget.”
And in a tip of the hat to protesters on the left and right massing outside the Capitol, Cannon added:
“Over the next nine weeks, this Capitol will be filled with angry protesters, countless special interests, and well-paid lobbyists. And all are welcome. In a free society, everyone – friend or foe – has the opportunity to participate in the process and have their voices heard. Unfortunately, many of those protestors and interest groups and lobbyists will attempt to manipulate the emotions of our citizens in an effort to influence all of us.”