The tradition in Tallahassee is that the second year of legislative leadership inevitably brings the unveiling on an oil portrait for the House speaker or Senate president about to depart.
As anyone who's been in the Capitol knows each time a new portrait is brought in the ones already in the chambers are rotated to make room for the newest arrival (and one portrait is taken down and placed in storage.)
The cost of the portrait _ which falls in line with previous purchases _ is not the most expensive one done in recent years.
The portraits of Senate President Toni Jennings and John McKay cost $7,000 while Jim Scott's was $6,800 according to information compiled by the Senate. The portraits of Jim King, Tom Lee, Ken Pruitt, Jeff Atwater and Mike Haridopolos ranged from nearly $3,200 (King) to close to $4,000 (Haridopolos).
But the most expensive legislative leader portraits of late have been of two House speakers: Johnnie Byrd and Marco Rubio.
House records show that Byrd's portrait cost $10,500 and included the cost of the frame.
Rubio's portrait was initially $9,500 but the cost was lowered by $500 after the artist asked to not be responsible for the frame.
By contrast the portraits of both House Speaker Larry Cretul and Dean Cannon have been considerably less: $3,380 for Cretul and $4,052 for Cannon.
The House has not yet signed a contract for House Speaker Will Weatherford's oil portrait. But it may be worth noting that the cost for Allan Bense (Weatherford's father-in-law) was $6,000.
According to reports at the time the party agreed to spend $7,500 on oil portraits of both Greer and then-Gov. Charlie Crist.