Paula Dockery, 26 Democrats Called 'Champions of Middle Class'
Republican state Sen. Paula Dockery joined 26 Democrats on a list of "Champions of Florida's Middle Class" compiled by three liberal groups.
Florida Watch Action, Progress Florida and America Votes honored 27 state lawmakers, based on the following votes:
- Opposing the prison privatization bill, SB 2038.
- Stopping the school parent trigger bill, SB 1718/HB 1191.
- Defeating a reproductive health bill, HB 277.
- Opposing drug testing, HB 1205/SB 1358.
- Opposing a "wage-theft protection" act, which bans local governments from implementing programs that help low-wage workers whose employers do not pay them, HB 609/SB 862.
- Countering GOP-supported redistricting maps, SJR 1176, SB 1174.
- Voting against the state budget, HB 5001.
Reached by Sunshine State News, Dockery, R-Lakeland, said, "I am a champion of the middle class and appreciate the recognition. There should be more Republicans on that list. Republicans took over majority because of our fighting for the middle class."
As for the votes, Dockery said, "We never voted on the reproductive health bill, we voted on a procedural vote to remove bill from committee. Numerous Republicans opposed this since leadership was unfairly waiving the rules to withdraw their favorite bills from committees."
She also clarified three other votes.
"Where I probably differed was:
- "Redistricting, where I voted against original Senate maps because they were very bad for Polk County and Lakeland in particular and I was certain the courts would reject, which they did.
- "As a fiscal conservative, I opposed the budget which was full of member projects, created a 12th university and cut too much from higher ed while giving tens of millions to corporations.
- "While I supported drug testing for welfare recipients, I opposed drug testing for state employees. If we are testing state employees, legislators and the governor should be included."
See the full list of lawmakers here.