Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

House Speaker Dean Cannon talks feds, pill mills, courts in session-opening speech

TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Dean Cannon used a good chunk of his 2011 session opening remarks Tuesday to criticize the federal government for rampant spending, likening leaders in D.C. to a "fiscal heroin addict" with China as its supplier.

"It's created a paralyzing web of entitlement programs, and it's literally beginning to collapse under its own weight," Cannon said. "They forgot, for example, that social services are supposed to lift people out of hard times, not wrap them in a cocoon of dependency."

It's up to state lawmakers, he said, to resist the temptation to appease special interests and be willing to wield the budget knife.

"We will have to reduce spending on good programs in order to preserve necessary programs," he said. As protesters gathered outside the state Capitol, Cannon said it's important for lawmakers to not be influenced by them, declaring, "We will not make decisions based on the politics of fear and anger."

Cannon specifically addressed such issues as Medicaid, teacher compensation, pill mills and courts.

On Medicaid, which Cannon said has grown like a cancer, he said: "I challenge you, we must do what Washington has failed to do and step up to the plate to bring this entitlement program under control."

On courts, which Cannon wants to reform, he said: "Judicial independence should never be used as an excuse to exceed the limits of the Constitution."

On pill mills, Cannon touted his proposal to ban doctors from direct sales of the most-abused prescription drugs, and dismissed the idea of a prescription drug monitoring database.

And on teacher pay, Cannon said Florida can't continue paying the worst teachers as much as the best teachers.

In closing, Cannon went back at the federal government, saying Florida lawmakers shouldn't follow Washington leaders "over the edge" and should show "we have the wisdom do to what is right."

House Speaker Dean Cannon talks feds, pill mills, courts in session-opening speech 03/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 5:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Eckerd grad presses for answers after closure of Program for Experienced Learners

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — It’s not unusual for colleges to end programs or discontinue majors that suffer from low enrollment.

    Eckerd College
  2. Controversial pick for next principal of St. Petersburg High put on hold

    Blogs

    Robert Gagnon was all set to be the new principal at St. Petersburg High, a plum position in the Pinellas County school district. His name was on a list of top administrative candidates to be approved at a special School Board meeting Tuesday.

    Robert Gagnon, who currently serves as an assistant principal at Northeast High in St. Petersburg, was tapped to lead St. Petersburg High next year pending School Board approval. The recommendation for his appointment was pulled from the School Board agenda by school district superintendent Mike Grego on Monday in light of "new information shared with me" regarding Gagnon's administrative experience in Lake County, according to an email sent to Pinellas County School Board members.
  3. Even presidents get sinkholes: One has formed at Trump's Mar-a-Lago

    Bizarre News

    Even presidential mansions are susceptible to sinkholes — especially if they're in Florida.

    A sinkhole has formed in front of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in south Florida.
  4. Colt Prattes and Abigail Breslin do the iconic lift scene in the remake of Dirty Dancing on ABC.
  5. Goodbye Tampa Bay Express, hello Tampa Bay Next; but toll lanes aren't going anywhere

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay Express is dead.

    But it's replacement — Tampa Bay Next — will likely include many of the same projects, including express toll lanes on the rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. DOT officials say there are still re-evaluating the most controversial aspect of the old TBX plan: spend $6 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area highways - Interstates 4,75 and 275 - that are currently free of tolls. But TBN will keep the plan to add express toll lanes to the rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge. [Florida Department of Transportation]