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Senate President Bill Galvano

Teacher pay, firearm safety and healthcare spending are among the top issues Florida leaders listed as they made their opening statements on the first day of the legislative session.

House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, and Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, spoke to the House and Senate, respectively, on Tuesday to help open the 2020 legislative session. Here are their remarks.

Over the objections of the National Rifle Association, a Senate panel Monday unanimously signed off on a far-reaching measure that would close the gun-show “loophole,” create a record-keeping system for private gun sales and set aside $5 million to establish a “statewide strategy for violence prevention.” 

Gaining initial legislative support last year might have been the easy part for controversial and expensive toll-road projects envisioned to cut through more than 300 miles of mostly rural land from Collier County to the Georgia border.

Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. A Sebring bank. A yoga studio in Tallahassee. A naval air base in Pensacola.

As state lawmakers ponder how -- and if -- to respond to teens’ skyrocketing use of electronic cigarettes, one university student is influencing the Florida Senate leader’s stance on the issue.

Grand Jury Slams Schools, Says 'Turf Wars' Hamper Parkland Safety Compliance

Dec 13, 2019

A statewide grand jury has issued a report painting a dire picture of how Florida school districts are implementing security measures passed in response to a mass shooting at a Broward County high school nearly two years ago.

GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE; DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA; WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Florida Supreme Court justices are the highest-paid statewide officials, with their salaries substantially higher than the amounts paid to the governor, state Cabinet members and legislators.

Senate President Bill Galvano on Tuesday entered his first legislative session at the helm of the Senate like a coach encouraging his team before taking the field.

Deviating from loosely prepared comments, Galvano stressed the importance of time management and didn’t bring up his priorities, which include extending the Suncoast Parkway and Florida Turnpike toll roads and building a new highway between Polk and Collier counties to handle future growth and provide an economic spark for rural areas.