Fla. Speaker Will Weatherford’s remarks open legislative session

House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) delivered his opening day speech to begin the 2013 Florida Legislative Session in Tallahassee on Tuesday.

Weatherford’s remarks were as follows:

Members, the table is set to get things done.

We’re serving in a unique moment of history as we commemorate the 500th anniversary of Spanish explorers coming to Florida.

In 1513, Ponce de Leon was commissioned to seek a land of promise. He embarked on a difficult journey— sailing with three companion ships — finding a place of beauty and intrigue which he named “La Florida” after the Spanish Feast of Flowers.

500 years later, we find ourselves in the midst of our “feast of flowers.”  Those explorers couldn’t have imagined what lay ahead when they first stood upon our shores.

So too, today, we cannot imagine what we will be. Our destiny will not be achieved by chance. It will be secured by action. We are the change agents — the instruments of our time — to shape the future of Florida.

Months ago, Senate President Gaetz and I identified a few priority issues that our chambers could work on together. Many said the very idea of us working together was destined to fail. In fact, I’m told the last time it was tried, the presiding officers couldn’t even agree on a location for the planning meeting.

But thanks to President Gaetz, we have put forth a “Florida Work Plan.” It’s very straightforward: restore trust in government, protect our fiscal future, and foster upward mobility through education reform.

First, we must restore trust in government because if the public believes that our elections are flawed, that our ethics laws are weak, and that our campaign finance laws are broken, how will they ever have confidence in anything else we do here?

Read Speaker Weatherford’s entire speech here.

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