Paul Renner Sworn in as House Speaker: ‘We Will Boldly Defend Life, Liberty and Freedom’

November 22, 2022 Updated 1:37 PM ET

Paul Renner, Speaker of the Florida State House.
Paul Renner, Speaker of the Florida State House.

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Florida’s new House Speaker, Rep. Paul Renner, announced his legislative agenda ahead of the 2023 Session centering on life, liberty, and freedom for Floridians.

“We have earned our reputation as the Free State of Florida,” Renner said in the House chamber Tuesday. “My pledge to you is we will boldly defend life, liberty and freedom for all our citizens!”

Renner takes over the role from Chris Sprowls who served from 2020-2022 as Speaker. Renner represents District 19 on the Palm Coast and has served in office since 2015. The House Speaker is a constitutional officer who leads the House for a two-year term, manages its operations, and presides over its sessions. The Speaker is elected by fellow Representatives.

“Speaker Sprowls, thank you for your service to our state – I really look forward to building on all that you’ve accomplished,” Renner said.

Speaker Renner’s agenda includes reducing taxes, affordable housing, combatting indoctrination in education, and tackling the ESG criteria.

“Our historical moment is one in which ideologues seek to politicize everything, who treat their ideology as a religion and demand we follow it, no matter the costs,” he said.

Renner argued indoctrination has been pushed at the expense of education.

“They spend more time defending drag queen story time than actually promoting phonics and the science of reading. In this election, moms and dads sent a clear message to these ideologues: Our children are not your social experiment!” he continued.

The new speaker said parents expect schools to keep their children safe, respect their values, and teach the reading, math and general knowledge that kids need to succeed in life. He said we must prepare every child for adulthood with a world class education.

“To do so, we will continue to reward our best teachers and staff, respect parental rights, and expand educational freedom. By providing more funding and flexibility, we will deliver a bright future to Florida’s next generation,” he said.

These same ideologues have also co-opted Wall Street, according to Renner, with “political demands branded under Environmental, Social and Governance goals or ESG.”

“In practice, ESG demands that companies adopt radical environmental and diversity goals and uses a scoring system to reward or punish companies based on their compliance,” Renner said.

He announced sending a letter to the three credit rating agencies, demanding they drop the politics and return to objective, financial criteria, universally recognized to measure a state’s credit rating. Gov. Ron DeSantis had previously announced he wants legislation proposed to crack down on the environmental, social and governance criteria (ESG).

Renner also announced he will establish a Select Committee on Hurricane Resiliency and Recovery to accelerate rebuilding and gather lessons learned, so that Florida is even better prepared for future storms.

“Hurricanes Ian and Nicole have devastated parts of our state.  Lives were lost, homes and businesses destroyed. It will take years for some areas to recover. While the TV cameras are gone, we will remain laser-focused on the recovery effort,” he said.

Sustained fiscal responsibility means Florida can bear the costs of hurricanes and still address other priorities.

Unfortunately, our constituents are facing record inflation.

Fortunately, responsible spending decisions by our legislature and governor have made our state stronger than ever.  We have balanced our budget, lowered our debt, and set aside record reserves. Let’s just say, no one will ever confuse us for the federal government. 

Many Floridians are reaching a breaking point, their incomes can’t keep up with rising prices.  The basics of life—housing, food and energy costs–are crushing the family budget.  Washington’s wasteful spending only adds fuel to the inflationary fire. 

Inflation will not end without a rare outbreak of responsibility in our nation’s capital; but here in Florida, we will act with purpose to reduce Floridians’ cost of living.

We will reduce taxes.

We will tackle runaway insurance costs.

We will make housing more attainable.

We will confront the causes driving up the price of fuel and electric bills. 

Inflation is hurting everyone—and we will take action!

America is known for its vibrant civil society and how we come together to solve big problems.

Speaker of the House Paul Renner, R-FL

While in the chamber, Renner said the gift of a tie or scarf depicting Florida will be given to members and their spouses.

“As we wear them, remember that while we come from different backgrounds, we all serve one state,” he said.

Renner went on to proclaim that success also depends on close cooperation with Senate colleagues.

I am especially grateful for the close partnership I enjoy with Senate President Kathleen Passidomo who is dedicated to leaving this state better than we found it. Along with our great Governor, we will deliver on a bold agenda – securing a future for Florida that is full of prosperity, abundant with opportunity and rich in quality of life. God bless you and the great state of Florida!

Speaker of the House Paul Renner, R-FL

Gov. Ron DeSantis, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, Attorney General Ashley Moody, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, and U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds were also in attendance Tuesday.

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