COVID-19, impact on budget dominate Wilton Simpson’s first remarks as Senate President

With Florida’s state Senators gathering Tuesday to formally select their leader, Wilton Simpson has finally taken over as Senate President.

Simpson focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to “tighten our belts” with regard to the state’s budget as a result of the pandemic’s economic impact.

“None of us who were here last Session could have predicted what we are facing today,” Simpson said. “Our focus will be different because the world is different.”

Simpson paused to remember the lives of the more than 17,000 Floridians who have died with COVID-19. Gov. Ron DeSantis was on the Senate floor for Simpson’s designation ceremony, and Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz was in the Senate gallery as a guest.

“Nobody signs up to be Governor during a pandemic or disaster,” Simpson said, thanking DeSantis and Moskowitz.

“I am convinced your early actions to protect our elderly and our most vulnerable populations helped avoid thousands of deaths in Florida,” he added.

President Pro Tempore-designate Sen. Aaron Bean introduced the incoming President, who is endearingly known as an egg farmer.

“There’s more to Wilton than just eggs,” Bean said.

Outgoing Senate President Bill Galvano recalled the first

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