In his address to the House Chamber during the Opening Day of the 90th term of the Florida Legislature Florida House Speaker, Representative Chris Sprowls instead of giving a litany of legislative issues, he cautioned Representatives against letting the media or anyone else define this year’s Legislative Session.
“A lot has been written and said about this Session that starts today, “ said Sprowls. “And much more will be written and said in the days and weeks to come. Most of it is nonsense. Nearly all of it is wrong.”
“Whether it’s contained in a newspaper article written by a reporter too self-righteous to be self-aware, or told to you from an outside lobbyist pretending to be an insider, all this commentary has the same reductive agenda. They want to reframe Session as being about only the subset of issues that they care about, or, worse, they want to turn everything into a make-believe boxing match between the House and the Senate or the Legislature and the Governor.”
Sprowls continued his remarks, “This ‘Session’ that you read about and hear about just doesn’t exist. There isn’t one Session. There are thousands of Sessions.”
He went on to explain that Session will be what each individual makes of it and then he challenged the Representatives, “Will we be brave or boring? Will we hide inside our safe spaces where we are right and everyone else is wrong, or will we climb to find higher, common ground? Will we spend our days chasing praise on Twitter, or will we actually change policy to improve the lives of Floridians? Will we have the capacity to recognize that while we are at the center of our own sessions, we are not at the center of everyone else’s? Those choices rest entirely with each of us.”
His remarks ended on a high note, “The privilege of this job, of being your Speaker, is that I get to sit at the center of this vast, unmappable Venn diagram and glimpse, briefly, into each of your individual sessions. And from where I’m standing, I see so much potential and so many opportunities. I see so much promise in this room.”
“The door is open,” he said, “Session is here. The decisions are yours. It’s time to win the day. What happens next is up to you. Choose wisely.”