Cannon shows his cards — sortaby John Kennedy | March 7th, 2011
House Speaker Dean Cannon says he has no immediate political ambition beyond leading the state House the next two years.
But he could have a future as a Texas hold ‘em poker player.
Cannon on Monday unveiled some dramatic House positions on the courts, pill mills, immigration and Medicaid — on the eve of the Legislature’s opening. He also delivered them using what has become a typical Cannon approach: deeply layered policy changes formed with seemingly little attention paid to those most affected.
As a rising House member, Cannon used a similar tactic in advancing measures affecting property taxes, Medicaid and offshore oil-drilling. But unlike past years, Cannon floated his ideas out early Monday — instead of the waning hours of a legislative session.
Still, Cannon acknowledged that he sought no input from court officials when he proposed revamping the Florida Supreme Court and appellate justices’ election system. Similarly, he conceded that his idea for barring doctors from dispensing prescription medications in their offices was based on no counsel from the medical community — although he insisted it will help ease Florida’s rampant problem with “pill mills.”
The House’s stance on restructuring Medicaid may generally parallel what it proposed last spring — in the waning days of the legislative session. But it also sounds likely to detour from where the Senate is looking to go with its ambitious Medicaid plan — unveiled last month.
Cannon has already drawn some distinctions with fellow Republican, Gov. Rick Scott. But he said he didn’t think the policy differences set the tone for a rocky two-month session.
“Too soon to tell,” said Cannon, R-Winter Park. “I don’t think it logically follows that just because we’re all trying to pursue major policy reforms….that necessarily equates to it being a bumpy session. I’ve got a great relationship with (Senate President Mike) Haridopolos, a great relationship with Gov. Scott. And each of us wants to be bold and make meaningful change.”