One of the most popular members in the Florida Legislature during the Golden Age of the '70's and '80's was the powerful Chairman of the Florida House of Representatives Transportation Committee, C. Fred Jones (D., Auburndale) from Imperial Polk County. C. Fred was a former Mayor of Auburndale, who knew how to mix and mingle on the floor, and pass important bills, as well as any other I met in either the House or Senate. I can still remember working long and hard with him on the Green Swamp Designation of Area Critical State Concern (one of the first ever) in his district.
He was conspicuous on the floor with his visor on his hair deficient head, bellowing, "Let's go hooome." He had an uncanny ability to judge the fatigue factor among his colleagues and assumed an unofficial role of calendar watcher of the 60 day Regular Session. He would emphasize his announcement by hugging members who walked across his center row aisle seat. His audience was bi-partisan, in spite of his conservative Democratic credentials. For the record, he would want me to point out he was a very proud Gator, Class of '52.
Since this 2017 Session of the Legislature has seen early fighting between the two Chambers--an all out political war between the Governor and the Speaker; a member of the Senate resigns, after attacking his colleagues in a drunken stupor; and a House member has not filed a tax return for 9 straight years. I think C. Fred would say it is time.
He once told me there was no excuse for extending Sessions, the legislators know full well in advance of the Session how much money they have, and all the agency requests. He likened it to the insanity of agencies suing other agencies of the same government...with guess who paying both tabs--the taxpayer.
So on behalf of my good friend, The Honorable C. Fred Jones of Imperial Polk County, "Let's Go Home."