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Dems Score Seats in Election, Republicans Urge Bipartisanship

November 20th, 2018 by Jake Stofan

The Florida House and Senate elected a new Speaker and President Tuesday morning.

Both are Republicans and both are urging bipartisanship, but the emotions from the 2018 election could make working together more difficult.

House Speaker House Jose Oliva and Senate President Bill Galvano urged the chambers to move past the contentious 2018 election.

“The campaigns are over and we turn our attentions now to governing,” said Oliva.

“Now is the time to move forward united together,” said Galvano.

However, scars from the hard fought election still bled through.

Janet Cruz won the most expensive race ever for the state senate, where a combined $12 million was spent.

“And it breaks my heart to see campaigns head in that direction,” said Cruz.

Overall, Democrats scored five new seats in the House and one in the Senate, but Republicans still hold clear majorities in the two chambers.

While Legislative leaders are talking about the need to do away with bipartisanship, that didn’t stop Speaker Oliva from making his agenda clear.

Oliva touted deregulation and tax reductions as solutions to the state’s key issues.

Newly chosen House Minority Leader Kionee McGhee says he’s confident the two parties can work together to find middle ground.

“We must look at healthcare, we must look at environmental reform, we must look at transportation, we must look at helping our veterans,” said McGhee.

Committees start in December and the 2019 session officially kick off in March.

That’s when we’ll know if legislators are truly willing to play nice this year.

Republicans hold more than 60% of the seats in the House, which means Democrats will be unable to block Legislation by numbers alone.

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