Haridopolos – silly games got in the way, ‘I’m embarassed’by Dara Kam | May 7th, 2011
Senate President Mike Haridopolos apologized to his members shortly before the 2011 legislative session fizzled to an end in the wee hours of the morning Saturday.
Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, brought the chamber back after 2 a.m. this morning to take up and pass a tax-break measure that includes a three-day sales tax holiday for back-to-school shoppers after the House stripped out a tax break for at least one greyhound dog track in Senate Rules Chairman John Thrasher’s district.
Instead of the usual fanfare celebrating the end of the 60-day session, the 36 senators who showed returned to the Capitol after Haridopolos sent them home two hours before were somber.
Haridopolos apologized for calling them back so quickly after he had told them the session would reconvene at 10 a.m.
The big losers of the session were two Floridians whose claims bills the House refused to pass before Speaker Dean Cannon adjourned for the year: Eric Brody, who was set to get $12 million from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for an accident more than a decade ago that left him severely disabled, and William Dillon, a wrongfully convicted Brevard County man who would have received less than $1 million for nearly 30 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. The claims bills for the two men were priorities of Haridopolos.
“They should have been served today by this legislature. Politics got in the way today and I’m embarrassed,” he said.
The Senate sine die’d at 3:35 a.m. The 2011 legislative session is officially over.