Crist’s First State of the State

“Florida is strong and optimistic” declared Gov. Charlie Crist in his first State of the State address Tuesday.

The governor hopes to build on the successful Insurance Special Session to achieve property tax relief for most Floridians. Even democrats are giving the governor high marks.

On his 64th day as governor, Charlie Crist has concluded, “That the state of our state is strong and promising.”

The address is the governor’s chance to give lawmakers his laundry list of things he wants. On the top is property tax relief. The governor says he doesn’t care how it gets done.

“It must be comprehensive. It must bring real relief to people.”

The governor also wants a “Children’s Cabinet” to address kids’ issues.

“Our children need a voice. They need to be at the table, because soon it will be their table.”

And after invoking the names of slain children Jessica Lundsford, Sarah Lunde, and Carlie Brucia, Crist called on lawmakers to send parole violators back to prison.

“I have witnessed firsthand the unimaginable limits of human grief when a parent loses a child to violent crime.”

The governor is also calling for a return back to paper ballots before the next election. Bipartisan reaction to the speech afterwards was one of optimism. Even most Democrats are applauding

Rep. Arthenia Joyner, a Tampa Democrat, is happy.

“I feel that the door is open. I know that you can talk to this man, and that is miles away from where we’ve been over the last several years.”

Fifty nine days remain in the legislative session. After Tuesday, the honeymoon will start to tarnish in the details of lawmaking.

Lawmakers wasted no time heeding the governor’s call for passage of the anti-murder bill. It was debated in the state Senate Monday afternoon and could be approved by lawmakers before the end of the week.