Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Corcoran tapped as future speaker of the House

Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, has been selected by fellow Republicans to become speaker of the state House of Representatives in 2017-18.

Corcoran isn't the typical freshman lawmaker in a Florida House where about one-third of the 120 members are new. Corcoran had never served (though he had run repeatedly), but he worked in a position that was almost as powerful: chief of staff to then-House Speaker Marco Rubio.

"It became clear to the freshmen members that when Richard Corcoran makes a promise, he has the institutional knowledge to make good on it," said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Destin, who was running for speaker as well but conceded Tuesday.

Corcoran had another insider card: His brother, Mike Corcoran, is a prominent lobbyist in the Capitol.

Aside from Corcoran's knowledge of the process — how to pass legislation, work the budget, get votes, etc. — Gaetz said Corcoran had two huge geographical advantages: the Tampa Bay legislative delegation and the Miami-Dade delegation, which is the largest and therefore most influential. Initially, Miami-Dade's delegation planned to remain neutral, but Corcoran's Miami roots won out.

Gaetz (who had Panhandle support) and Rep. Ben Albritton, R-Bartow, (a scion of a citrus fortune with strong ties to Florida's rural areas) just couldn't muster the votes.

Corcoran played humble when asked how he won.

"This is such a tremendous honor," he said. "Anyone in this class could have been House speaker. But now comes the tough part. Now I have to lead."

Technically, Corcoran won't be House speaker until he's officially designated, which likely will be in 2016 for a two-year term that will stretch from 2017 to 2018. House speakers are rarely, if ever, deposed after they're tapped. So it's pretty much a lock that Corcoran will succeed Chris Dorworth, who will follow Will Weatherford, who's scheduled to succeed current House Speaker Dean Cannon.

Scott wants more budget time

State law requires the governor to present his budget recommendation to the Florida Legislature in January, but this year, with the inauguration of a new governor, the deadline by law is extended to Feb 6. Legislators expected it Feb. 4.

Now, Gov. Rick Scott is asking for more time. In a letter to House Speaker Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos, Scott asked if he could work through the weekend. Cannon said okay, giving the governor until Feb. 7.

The governor's budget is only a recommendation and is either used as a guidepost or completely ignored by lawmakers. Scott told reporters and editors last week that, like Babe Ruth's called shot, "my budget will pass."

There is precedent for the Legislature to give the governor extended time. After the tornadoes in Central Florida in 2007, Gov. Charlie Crist sought and received an extension and proposed his budget on Feb. 20.

GOP gets executive director

State GOP chairman David Bitner has named Andy Palmer to serve as the party's executive director. Palmer, who had the same post under Carole Jean Jordan, most recently served as director of House campaigns. "Andy is well qualified for this endeavor, with an outstanding work ethic, commitment to the job and character," Bitner said.

Times/Herald staff writer Mary Ellen Klas and Times political editor Adam C. Smith contributed to this report.

Corcoran tapped as future speaker of the House 01/18/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 10:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay small businesses give Tampa B+ for regulatory climate

    Corporate

    In a recent survey about small business sentiments toward state and local government policies that affect them, Tampa Bay ranked at No. 25 out of 80 — a B+ overall.

    Tampa Bay ranked No. 25 out of 80 in a recent survey about how small business owners feel about state and local government policies that affect them. | [Times file photo]
  2. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  3. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers

    Crime

    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  5. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)

    War

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.