Wielding the gavel for the first time as House Speaker, Chris Sprowls used his opening address to the new class of lawmakers to share a message of law and order, but to also acknowledge concerns about police brutality and systemic issues within law enforcement.
Sprowls opened the House’s 2021 Organization Session Tuesday to a different sort of fanfare than lawmakers are accustomed.
“I regret that circumstances have muted our celebration today,” Sprowls said referencing COVID-19 restrictions that limited the typically robust attendance. “Our Floor should be packed with former colleagues and old friends and the galleries filled to the rafters with our families and supporters. Each one of us is here because of the hard work and sacrifice of so many people.”
Sprowls quickly pivoted from the laudatory introductions, setting the stage for the upcoming Legislative Session to tackle what has become one of this year’s fiercest policy debates.
The son of a retired New York City police officer, Sprowls urged respect for law enforcement and cautioned against painting all officers with the same brush.
“He put himself at risk every time he stepped out onto the streets. There were days that, if circumstances had gone just a little differently,