Gov. Ron DeSantis takes office, vows to protect environment, stop 'judicial activism'

DeSantis won a fiercely contested election over Democrat Andrew Gillum.

Ron DeSantis was sworn in as Florida’s 46th governor Tuesday and vowed to protect Florida’s environment, bring an end to “judicial activism,” expand school choice and carry on the Republican economic playbook of cutting taxes and regulations.

After thanking his predecessor Rick Scott for leading the state through an economic recovery following the Great Recession, DeSantis turned to the task at hand – governing a growing state with 21 million people.

“Let there be no misunderstanding: as governor, I will lead with purpose and conviction on behalf of the people of Florida,” DeSantis said. “If the Legislature engages in wasteful spending, I will veto it. If a local official is neglectful of required duties, I will remove the official. If our environment is threatened, I will move to protect it.’’

But government is not the answer, he said.

"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," he said. "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.'