Same Ol' Same Ol'
Worried about a property tax system that needs serious reform?
How about those big insurance premium cuts promised to us by Governor Crist?
Or what about local government spending?
Well, it appears that our representatives in Tallahassee don't share our concerns.
Say what you want about House Speaker Marco Rubio. He may act like a bull in a china shop sometimes, but he's one of the few politicians in Tally who seem to understand our concerns and has the courage to speak up.
Senate President (and fellow Republican) Ken Pruitt? Not so much.
No ''major'' insurance revisions or tax-cut plans. Big budget cuts. Money for the wrongfully incarcerated. More legislative control of state universities.
Don't expect a whole lot more out of the Florida Legislature during the 60-day lawmaking session that begins Tuesday.
Technically, the modest agenda is just Senate President Ken Pruitt's and not that of the full Legislature. But as Pruitt goes, so goes the Senate. And as the Senate goes, so goes the Florida Legislature.
Even last year, when Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio of West Miami set the agenda, the final decisions were ultimately made by the upper chamber, which has longer-serving members who have more political acumen, an institutional spirit of bipartisanship and is allied with Gov. Charlie Crist more closely than the House.
This year, talk of Rubio -- and therefore the House's agenda-setting prowess -- was conspicuous in its absence.
Last year, Pruitt couldn't praise Rubio enough as a ''star'' and chief ''architect'' of ideas that the ''master builders'' in the Senate would refine. But this year in a pre-session chat with reporters, Pruitt skipped any mention of Rubio, whose hardball politics in pushing for steep and politically unfeasible property-tax cuts estranged senators from both parties last year and during three tense special lawmaking sessions.
Pruitt now wants to see the effects of two tax-cut measures -- one approved by voters, the other by the Legislature and Gov. Charlie Crist -- before doing anything more significant.
''I'll be clear with you: There will be no concerted effort from the leadership of the Florida Senate to do anything more,'' said Pruitt, a Port St. Lucie Republican. ``I'm not going to stop anybody from filing a bill. But if we shared with them that there would be no leadership assistance, hopefully they'll know there's no appetite over here.''