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Galvano urges ‘civility’ in address to Florida senators

But he gave no hints about his legislative priorities this session
Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton, addresses the Florida Senate, Tuesday, January 14, 2020, on the first day of the annual 60-day session in Tallahassee.  [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton, addresses the Florida Senate, Tuesday, January 14, 2020, on the first day of the annual 60-day session in Tallahassee. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Jan. 14
Updated Jan. 14

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano gave no hints to his priorities in his last legislative session, instead urging his colleagues into “maintaining civility and decorum” and quoting Mother Teresa.

In his brief address to the Senate on the first day of session, the Bradenton Republican asked his colleagues to “put aside personalities and politics for good policy.”

“Let us conduct our business with the discipline to look at the big picture as opposed to personal agendas,” he said.

Galvano last session also didn’t didn’t use the opening day of session to set his agenda. But he made his priorities known during the 60-day session, urging lawmakers to pass a controversial bill establishing more than 300 miles of toll roads through rural parts of the state.

This session, one of his priorities is passing a public safety bill that includes several gun control measures opposed by the National Rifle Association.

On Monday, the bill unanimously passed its first Senate committee, although it’s likely to get pushback in the House, where Speaker José Oliva has not expressed an interest in taking up controversial gun-control measures in an election year.

Galvano said Tuesday, as he did last year, that he was leaving it up to senators to set the agenda.

“Every one of us knows what the issues are that we’re about to face,” he said. “We all know at the end of the day, they’re all tied to the budget and how we negotiate the budget. I trust you.”

He ended his remarks by quoting the patron saint of Kolkata.

“In the words of Mother Teresa, ‘Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.’"

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