Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Richard Corcoran promises blue skies with Joe Negron

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Richard Corcoran, who will be speaker of the Florida House of Representatives at the same time Joe Negron is Senate president, called him a “good friend” and “an intelligent and principled leader.”

Corcoran sat in the front row at Negron’s designation ceremony Wednesday. The Land O’ Lakes Republican had his own designation ceremony in September.

“I know that, together, we can bring a new spirit of partnership to the Florida Legislature,” Corcoran said in a prepared statement.

Relations between the two chambers, both controlled by Republicans, have been following a sine-wave pattern in recent years.

For example, Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon, in charge during 2010-12, presided over the 2011 “midnight meltdown.”

Both chambers were virtually at each other’s throats over a potpourri of priorities, such as claims bills and tax breaks. They adjourned separately in the wee hours of the morning, eschewing the traditional joint “hanky drop” that marks the end of session.

Next were Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford, who, as The Tampa Tribune put it, “presented a united policy front for the two sessions over which they presided.

Lawmakers passed and Gov. Rick Scott signed into law overhauls of campaign finance, ethics and elections law, and expanded access to school vouchers.

“With most presidents and most speakers, when their two years are up, you’re lucky if they’re still talking to each other,” Weatherford told the Tribune. “Don Gaetz and I are better friends now than when we started two years ago.”

The pendulum swung back this past session, the first under Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli.

The House went home three days early after the chambers deadlocked over health care funding, forcing a special session to finish the 2015-16 state budget.

Subsequent Special Sessions for congressional and state Senate district redistricting similarly ended in failure and acrimony, with lawmakers unable to agree on remedial maps, leaving it to the courts to decide.

At one point during the congressional redistricting Session, the Senate’s lead negotiator, Bill Galvano of Bradenton, even stormed out of a public meeting with his House counterpart, Jose Oliva of Miami Lakes, saying the Senate wasn’t going to budge.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

Latest from Statewide

Go to Top