At the end of every week, we will praise a political playmaker, swipe left on the biggest political loser, and explain what it all means for Florida’s political arena. Welcome to Champ and Chump of the Week, presented by The Capitolist. Which one are you?
👍🏆 – House Speaker José Oliva
Speaker Oliva kicked off his final legislative session in style, with the termed-out Miami Lakes Republican delivering an opening day speech centered on fiscal responsibility and a conservative agenda that falls in-line with the goals set by Governor Ron DeSantis.
“Spending is not caring, solving is caring,” he said multiple times throughout his address. “If spending was the answer we would already have solved the problem.”
Oliva’s message was also predicated on solving problems and capitalizing on accomplishments made in the House in 2019 — a tone that was drastically different from his counterpart’s in the Senate (more on that soon).
Heading into 2020, Oliva will look to tie a bow on a successful legacy that will span eight years in the House loosening government regulations, maintaining accountability, and conservative policies that have helped pull Florida’s economy out of the Great Recession.
With a united House ready to fight for more conservative ideals, Oliva’s crusade to remove restrictions in the health care industry and expand teacher pay could be the cherry on top to a productive run as House Speaker.
👎❌ – Senate President Bill Galvano
While there are a few state senators who deserve to be on this list, we will focus on the one who pulls the strings. Like Lord Voldermort, Galvano has become Florida’s version of “He Who Must Not Be Named” in many conservative circles.
On Monday, a panel in the Galvano-led Senate backed a major gun control measure that seeks to close the gun-show “loophole,” create a record-keeping system for private gun sales and set aside $5 million to establish a “statewide strategy for violence prevention.”
The proposal (SB 7028) is a priority of Galvano’s, as evidenced by the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee’s consideration and passage of the measure the day before the 2020 legislative session began.
The sweeping legislation would require background checks and a three-day waiting period for firearms sold “on property to which the public has the right of access,” increase the age threshold when storing guns in households and open up private gun sales to government intervention.
Galvano, a member of the Republican Party, has a spotted past in his tenure as Senate President. From orchestrating the “Parkland Gun Control Bill,” to accepting a donation from Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund. a pro-gun control organization founded by Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, it’s evident why many on the political right are concerned with the lack of conservative leadership in the Florida Senate.
If the Republican-controlled Senate pushes this controversial bill across the finish line, Galvano may very well put a nail in his political coffin.
And given his record putting his political interests ahead of his oath to the preserving principles of the Constitution, it’s safe to say that Galvano isn’t planning on running as a Republican for anything after he leaves the Senate.