Some people, like say Steve Vancore, questioned the wisdom of my taking a vacation during the first week of the 2015 legislative session.
I had to remind Vancore it was my wife’s birthday last week. And we’ve always sailed on a Disney Cruise for the occasion. And because since I love my wife a million times more than Vancore, I have not an ounce of regret taking the time off.
That said, being (mostly) off the grid for a week left me behind the news curve, so when I arrived back on shore, I made several calls to those in the know in an attempt to have them catch me up.
The consensus? Well, not to be hyperbolic, but almost everyone involved in The Process thinks the 2015 session is already over.
“Session doesn’t blow up this early usually,” said one A-list lobbyist via text.
“Gaming looks DEAD!” wrote another.
“Bill are dying” went the rest of the Greek chorus.
If all of that is true … that the 2015 legislative session is over before it really got started, that has to be good news to Speaker-Designate Richard Corcoran, perhaps the most powerful figure in Florida’s Capitol.
Corcoran, so it would seem, has us all right where he wants us.
Think about it this way: Fast-forward two months and envision Corcoran speaking to some Republican club in Pasco County. It’s very likely Corcoran (and other House Republicans) will be able to tell his constituents:
We stood up to those RINOs in the Senate and blocked Obamacare (by not expanding Medicaid).
We protected Florida’s family values by not going along with any plan to increase the gambling industry’s footprint in the state (even if that means defeating their own majority leader’s legislation).
And we did not give away millions to billionaires (by not doling out subsidies for sports facility development or film production).
This is not to say I agree or disagree with any of that. Nor is it a prediction of how things will eventually turn out. But it is the direction the session appears to be heading. If all of that does hold — Medicaid is not expanded, gambling is not expanded, and taxpayer subsidies are not given — that would make Corcoran the undisputed winner this year.
And that’s something I didn’t need to come back from vacation to learn.