Cracks in Crisafulli's House: Pilon 'surprised, very disappointed'
House Speaker Steve Crisafulli has spoken frequently this session about his commitment to a members-first style of leadership. But rank and file House members say Crisafulli didn't forewarn them that he was about to shut down the House on Tuesday. As a result, they realize they look like lemmings in a top-down driven House, and they're turning on him.
"We were given no notice ahead of time. No indication it was coming. We figured maybe it was the next day, or the following day," said Rep. Ray Pilon, a blindsided Sarasota Republican who saw a few of his bills fall victim to the shutdown. "I was very surprised and very disappointed that it was handled that way."
Crisafulli did the unthinkable. He made a cop angry. A Republican cop. Pilon, 70, is a retired law enforcement officer and a grandfather who represents a moderate Republican district in Sarasota. He said he believes a majority of his constituents support the Senate position, that it makes sense to draw down federal money for a modified version of Medicaid expansion that requires patients to work and contribute monthly co-pays from $3 to $25.
In his House district, "It would pass," Pilon said.