Senate prez on protests: ‘Welcome to America’by Dara Kam | March 7th, 2011
Protests planned on tomorrow’s opening day of the 2011 legislative session by unions and tea party activists are “exciting,” Senate President Mike Haridopolos told reporters this morning.
“This is America. People have every right to protest, positively or negatively. I think it’s exciting that people are taking such an interest in their government and they want to be vocal about where they stand,” the Merritt Island Republican, running for U.S. Senate, said. “If there are protests on either side, welcome to America.”
Asked if the protests might reach the heated level as Wisconsin, where union activists have camped out for weeks in the Capitol, Haridopolos shrugged.
“It might happen. If I was a protester and I had the choice of going to Wisconsin or Florida, I’d probably come here too,” he quipped.
The rallies won’t slow down the Senate’s ambitious agenda during opening week that include floor votes on teacher merit pay, two controversial constitutional amendments and tort reform, Haridopolos said.
Haridopolos also said he was open to House Speaker Dean Cannon’s proposed revamp of the Florida Supreme Court, but said it wasn’t one of his own priorities.
“I’m all ears on it. This is something that’s important to him. If it’s important to him, it’s important to me,” Haridopolos said.