Senate President Joe Negron opened the 2018 Legislative Session by vowing to crack down on sexual harassment, saying the Senate has "zero tolerance for sexual harassment."
"I would like to begin today by addressing a very important issue that addresses not only the Florida Senate, but also our counterparts in Congress, the entertainment industry, employers large and small across the country, and our culture in general," Negron said.
"Let me be clear: The Florida Senate has zero tolerance for sexual harassment or misconduct of any time against any employee or visitor," he said.
Just before Negron spoke, two state senators, Anitere Flores and Oscar Braynon, issued a joint statement apologizing for a friendship that "evolved to a level that we deeply regret."
Allegations of sexual harassment have promised to overshadow the Legislature since last fall, when reports of sexual harassment against Negron's then-budget chair, Sen. Jack Latvala, surfaced.
In November, the Stuart Republican ordered an investigation into the allegations, which eventually led to Latvala's resignation.
He added that the Senate, led by Senate Rules Chair Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, is working to revise its administrative policies regarding harassment.
"I am committed to ensuring we all have a safe workplace environment to do the people's business," Negron said Tuesday.
Negron, is in his last session as Senate president, also emphasized expanding Bright Futures scholarships for college students and addressing the state's opioid crisis.
He also said he supported Scott's push for raises for state law enforcement, and that he supported House Speaker Richard Corcoran's efforts toward "school choice."
"I don't love my children enough to homeschool them," he quipped. "But I respect the decision of parents to homeschool theirs."