The following are excerpts from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ inaugural address:
I take the helm of the ship of state as a Florida native, a veteran of our nation’s military, conscious of my own deficiencies, mindful of the great trust that has been placed in me and thankful for so many of you who have prayed for me.
Being charged with leading a state with so much promise, all I can promise is the sweat off my brow, a full heart, my best judgment and the courage of my convictions.
I will not be a rudderless vessel in this endeavor; my compass will be the principles reflected in the constitutional oath I have just taken, and for which Americans have given their lives: that our rights are endowed by God, not government; that we the people loan power to government under the Constitution in order to protect our rights; that government’s role is not to run our lives for us but to provide what Lincoln called an “open field and fair chance for one’s industry, enterprise and intelligence …
Let’s promote a virtuous cycle whereby low taxes, a reasonable regulatory climate, a sensible legal system and a healthy environment attract jobs, business and investment …
An expanding economic base will yield more high-paying jobs for our citizens and is the best way to generate the revenue needed for public priorities like education, protecting our natural resources and infrastructure.
We know what works and what doesn’t. Let’s not veer off course.
Our economic potential will be jeopardized if we do not solve the problems afflicting our environment and water resources.
People want to come to Florida because of its natural beauty. Tourism is not only a pillar of our state’s economy, it helps spread the tax burden to non-Floridians, limiting taxes on our citizens. But this could be in jeopardy if we do not solve our pressing environmental problems. As the great philosopher Yogi Berra remarked: if people don’t want to come nobody is going to stop them.
For Florida, the quality of our water and environmental surroundings are foundational to our prosperity as a state — it doesn’t just drive tourism; it affects property values, anchors many local economies and is central to our quality of life. The water is part and parcel of Florida’s DNA. Protecting it is the smart thing to do; it’s also the right thing to do.
I will lead the efforts to save our waterways. We will fight toxic blue-green algae, we will fight discharges from Lake Okeechobee, we will fight red tide, we will fight for our fishermen, we will fight for our beaches, we will fight to restore our Everglades and we will never ever quit, we won’t be cowed and we won’t let the foot draggers stand in our way.
We resolve to leave Florida to God better than we found it …