On Tuesday, I will raise my right hand on the steps of Florida’s historic Capitol to take the oath of office in much the same tradition that 45 governors have before me. With my wife, Casey, and our two children, Madison and Mason, watching, it will be a pointed reminder that to whom much is given, much is required.
Future generations of leadership need us to get this moment in Florida history right. Our parents and grandparents did that for us, delivering a state and nation of immense strength, and, now, it is our turn to do the same. Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez and I are honored to be put in this position by the people of Florida. We are committed to pursuing a bold agenda that opens wide the gates of opportunity and makes Florida the best in the nation.
We were elected to serve all Floridians, and that is a charge we will keep. Following a very competitive election, I know there are political divides in our state, but the election is over, and it is time for our state to come together. Already, I have selected a diverse, bipartisan group of qualified individuals to serve in my administration.
Coming together as a state starts with a strong recovery from Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Irma. I will do everything in my power to increase efficiencies in these recoveries, speeding up the process and returning devastated areas to normalcy as soon as possible.
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I will fulfill promises from the campaign trail. That means prioritizing environmental issues, like water quality and cleaning the environmental mess that has resulted in toxic blue-green algae and exacerbated red tide around the state. We will put Everglades restoration into high gear and make it the reality that Floridians have been promised for three decades.
My administration will focus on putting resources in the hands of our first responders, as they work to keep us safe. We’ll work to create better healthcare options that put consumers first, fund meaningful mental healthcare and address the epidemic of addiction shackling far too many. I look forward to improving the function and efficiency of state government in every way we can, including cutting what we must and funding what works.
I will continue to focus on Florida’s economy. I will work with job creators to further improve the economic climate for investment in Florida by removing regulatory barriers to entry, in turn, creating more competition and ensuring more Floridians are working and self-sufficient. Florida’s economy drives the U.S. economy, and I will partner with President Trump to make sure our economy is the strongest in the country.
When it comes to education, we are unwilling to suffer outdated systems that ultimately hurt our children. Ours is a singular focus on students and the parents who know them best. Inevitably, over time, systems serve themselves and students get shortchanged. And, whether it’s expanding tax-credit scholarships, supporting charter schools or embracing other emerging solutions, we’re prepared to do what we must so that each and every student in our state receives a high-quality education.
Beginning this week, I will make the first of three appointments to the Florida Supreme Court. My judicial appointees will interpret the law, be willing to reverse bad precedent and will not legislate from the bench.
This bold agenda reflects the stories I have heard from Floridians all across the state. You have spoken, and we will listen. Campaigns fade from view, but the real issues we must tackle are in front of us. I ask you to continue to share your ideas and tell us your stories, as you help us better understand the problems we must address.
May God continue to bless our great state and help us experience the fullness of our destiny together. After all, this is our time and our children are watching.
Ron DeSantis is the governor-elect of the state of Florida.