Speaker Cretul gets down to business
House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Cretul addressed business leaders taking part in a Florida Chamber of Commerce "Grassroots Tour" in Tallahassee today, displaying a dry sense of humor and a no-nonsense approach.
"I'm learning a lot about myself recently -- in the paper," Cretul said, speaking from the well of the House chamber. "They can't quite figure out, who is this guy?" Of the responsibilities thrust on him, Cretul said: "Certainly it was not expected, but the reality is, here we are."
He had just left a meeting with budget chiefs at which he ordered a top-to-bottom review of whether every expenditure serves a "core mission" of state government. He said he told them to not assume passage of a federal stimulus package. "We need to have a real picture of where we are and what we need to do," he said.
Cretul's goals: a "balanced and fair" budget, reviving the economy and tackling an "overly demanding regulatory system." The chairman of the Florida Chamber, AT&T Florida president Marshall Criser III, congratulated Cretul and remarked on the "flawless execution of the handoff" from Ray Sansom to Cretul, which played out at a somber Monday night meeting of House Republicans.