Cannon and Haridopolos talk of refereeing budget fight, and then there’s Scott’s tax cutby John Kennedy | April 26th, 2011
House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos made an unusual joint address Tuesday morning to the state House, praising the work – and their friendship — which they said led to the framework of a budget deal unveiled earlier in the day.
“We’re poised to bring this thing in for a landing on time,” said Cannon, R-Winter Park, with an eye on the session’s scheduled May 6 close.
Plenty of differences stand between the two sides. But setting budget allocations — as the two sides did Tuesday – sets the stage for public negotiations to begin Wednesday morning. As usual, Tuesday’s horse-trading was conducted behind closed doors between the leaders – belying Florida’s government in the sunshine constitutional standard.
Cannon apparently was satisfied when the Senate agreed to put on a ballot next year his demand for a proposed overhaul of the Florida Supreme Court — which rejected three constitutional amendments approved last year by state lawmakers.
Even with the court deal, Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, and his House counterpart, Rep. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, traded harsh words. And Alexander accused Cannon of “gamesmanship.”
“I really applaud the speaker. He is my friend. And this friendship really, really made a difference as we got through this difficult time,” said Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, after leaving the House floor. “Yesterday was really and up and down day.”
Haridopolos wouldn’t say what the Senate earned in return for the court concession. But he did acknowledge that some of the focus now is on sated Gov. Rick Scott, who is demanding a reduction in the state’s corporate income tax — part of $2 billion in tax cuts he demanded in his budget blueprint.
“I think you’ll see tax relief within this budget,” Haridopolos said. “We’re going to find out where the most support is, and we’re going to find out where the most support is within the various tax relief items.”