Palm Coast, FL – (March 23, 2022) With 120 members and guests in attendance for the March Flagler Tiger Bay Club meeting, Florida Representative and House Speaker-Designate Paul Renner provided an overview of the 2022 legislative session and preview of the priorities slated for the upcoming session, when he formally becomes the next Speaker of the House for the Florida Legislature.
Ending a call with Florida Senate-Designate President Kathleen Passidomo before the luncheon, it was a demonstration of the relationship the two share and a foreshadowing of their ability to work together between the chambers to better Florida’s future.
Acknowledging the state’s advances, Renner remains focused on tackling future challenges while exercising fiscal prudence with the tax payer dollar.
“There is a great report card for Florida, I think the arrows are all up in the right directions with a couple of exceptions but the challenges are clear in front of us,” he said.
“Those challenges, I would say, are not sexy challenges for members of either party to necessarily address, it’s just not. What happens underneath your feet when you flush the toilet, you expect it to go somewhere and be taken care of. When you get on the road you expect not to have your car beaten up by potholes or to sit in traffic for hours to get home to your family or to get goods to market.”
“What are we doing with the historic revenues we’ve had coming in the state of Florida just from economic activity before you get to federal dollars, but also the avalanche of billions of federal dollars heaped on top of that. I believe we’ve used those very, very wisely. We have invested in part in reserves, I think we’re up over 20 percent relative to general revenue. We’ve got I think 8 or 9 billion in reserves right now, which is an historic number that we’ve never had before.”
Addressing long-term capital intensive projects, major investments were made into water quality, and the Forever Florida conservation fund, along with the clearing out of a backlog of deferred maintenance, the PICO List at state colleges, and an increase in funding for K-12 students and teachers.
In addition to public safety, infrastructure and public-private-partnerships, Renner, a fan of term limits, noted the responsibility legislators have to lay the groundwork for future public servants to maximize their positive impact on the state and local communities.
“Going forward, I think the challenge again is going to be how do we reorient people’s thinking towards sustained commitment towards those things that need a long-term approach,” asked Renner, seeking to balance transportation, infrastructure and growth needs with conservation, adding cybersecurity to the list of priorities.
“We want to balance all those things, and I pledge that we will take a strategic approach to these issues,” he said.
The meeting marked the Flagler Tiger Bay Club’s return to the Hammock Dunes Club, and welcomed nearly two dozen President’s Guests to hear from the future Speaker.
“Paul Renner was outstanding,” said Flagler Tiger Bay Club President Greg Davis.
“The program could not have been better. We were completely sold out and our guests started arriving at 11 am. From the speaker, the programming, the attendance, the audience engagement, our Young Tigers, the venue, it could not have been any better, and that is what our members and guests told me. What a coming home program,” he said.
The Flagler Tiger Bay Club will host Sharon A. Lamberton, Deputy Vice President of State Policy and External Outreach for PhRMA on April 20, 2022 at noon, at the Hammock Dunes Club, for their April meeting.