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President Office — Press Release


November 22, 2016

CONTACT: Katie Betta, (850) 487-5229

Senator Joe Negron Unanimously Elected Senate President

Stuart Senator Sworn in as 87th Senate President Since Statehood

Tallahassee —

Senator Joe Negron (R-Stuart) was unanimously elected as the 87th President of the Florida Senate since statehood during the Senate’s Organization Session today.  President Negron will lead the Upper Chamber during the 2016-2018 Legislative Term.


“I am honored by the opportunity to serve with each and every member of the Senate. I give you my word I will respect the trust and confidence you have placed in me to serve as your President,” said President Negron during his acceptance speech.


During today’s session, Senators also unanimously elected Senator Anitere Flores (R-Miami, Monroe) as Senate President Pro Tempore.


“Senator Flores has a proven ability to work in a bipartisan manner without compromising her own unwavering principles,” said President Negron. “I have complete confidence in her ability to represent the Senate in this important leadership position, and I look forward to serving with her by my side.”


Pursuant to the Florida Constitution, the Florida Legislature convenes 14 days following the general election for the purpose of organization, election of officers and the adoption of rules. Additionally, returning and new Senators, who were elected or re-elected earlier this month, took their oaths of office during today’s session.


President Negron had the opportunity to outline several priorities for the upcoming term during his acceptance speech.


Higher Education

“My goal is to present a package of policy enhancements and funding investments that will elevate the prominence of our state universities and increase their ability to compete as national destination institutions, while preserving access and increasing affordability for Floridians,” said President Negron. “Dating back to antiquity, institutions of higher education have served as forums for free speech and the open exchange of ideas that leads to discovery and innovations across academia and industry. No one has the right to shut down speech because it makes them feel uncomfortable. My hope is our Florida universities will continue to reject the culture of coddling that has recently consumed some campuses across our country, and instead maintain the rich traditions of higher education that train students to articulate and defend their ideas in a responsible manner.”


Lake Okeechobee

“For nearly two decades, there has been scientific consensus and recognition by state leaders that additional water storage south of Lake Okeechobee is necessary; from Governor Jeb Bush's historic support of the bipartisan Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan in 2000; to the recent University of Florida Water Institute study commissioned by the Senate and completed in 2015,” said President Negron. “As Senate President, I have a brief moment in time to effect change. I have a personal mission to work with the agricultural community, to work with Florida’s best scientists, and to work with every member of the Legislature; to protect our estuaries, to protect our lagoons, and to put the harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee that destroy our environment and harm our economy, into the past pages of history, instead of the daily front pages of newspapers.”


Juvenile Justice

“All too often our state and national headlines are filled with stories of young people whose lives are forever changed after committing what we used to call youthful indiscretions,” said President Negron. “The good news is Governor Scott recently announced the lowest number of juvenile arrests in more than 40 years. That is certainly great progress, but we still have work to do.  I have heard the concerns shared with me by Leader Braynon, Senator Clemens, Senator Brandes, Senator Gibson, and many others. I hear you. I agree that this is a serious issue, and it is important that we start dedicating more time and the attention to solutions.”


Embracing the Constitution

“Our Founding Fathers had a profound idea that our rights were not a bequest from the government to the people, but rather our rights were an endowment from our Creator,” said Senator Negron. “When we legislate, we should do so within the bounds of the Constitution with the intent of preserving these rights.”


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