TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Following are Senate President Bill Galvano’s remarks on the first day of the 2019 legislative session:
Senators, before I go on, I’d like to just take a few moments and share some thoughts with you here today.
First of all, thank you. Thank you for all the hard work that you’ve put into the interim committee period. We’ve made tremendous progress and are really in a very good position to start this session moving forward. This is the first day of a 60-day session, and while it may only last for two months, the work that we do during that two months can affect millions of Floridians for many, many years. In many ways, when we gather in this hallowed chamber, we are convening the future.
You’ll see on your desk an hourglass, and on that hourglass is a quote from my favorite president, Abraham Lincoln, and the quote goes, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” So I challenge you all, let’s make every single day of this session meaningful, purposeful, and have it lead to accomplishment. Hemingway had a similar view when he wrote, and I always liked this, that “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.”
So, as we move forward and work hard and focus day by day with these 60 days, let us do so recognizing each other’s value, the value that each of us has in this chamber, one to another, and let us also recognize the value that we have as the Florida Senate. We are made up of diverse and talented senators representing large and unique constituencies. Look around you. These are the people that you are serving with. Each of them has a tremendous story, and each of them brings true value to this process.
Let’s also understand that we are the Florida Senate, and while we’re part of the bigger state government, we have a very specific role in how the people of Florida are governed. Take pride in that. I take pride in that. We will work together as a Senate with the measure, deliberation, and decorum that is necessary to achieve the best policy. As we were reminded by our President Pro Tempore, let’s be President George Washington’s saucer to cool and to vet and to understand. I reaffirm my pledge to you that I’ve made many times that I will not judge the success of this session by my personal agenda. And I ask all of you, let’s all focus on a Florida agenda and not a personal agenda. I will do my best to support you in every way, but I ask that we collaborate, that we truly vet and debate the issues and policies and ideas that come before us. And when an idea is not right, or a bill is not ready, let us have the courage to step back, regroup, and rethink. And most importantly, let us also have the discipline to know when to let go and walk away.
History is not going to judge the success of this session by the number of bills we pass. To the contrary, it will judge the success of this session by the quality of our actions. At the end of the day, we have only one requirement by our Constitution and that’s to pass the budget, a meaningful, responsible budget, for the people of Florida. So, as we work together, let us do so boldly, proudly, and as the Florida Senate. It’s an honor, again, to serve as your president, but that’s what I want you to realize I am doing --- I am serving you as your president. So let’s make every day count this session. Thank you.