Resume Breathing: Politicians Have Left Tallahassee

By: Lloyd Brown | Posted: May 13, 2014 3:55 AM
From the Right Coast

Florida is, once again, safe. The Florida Legislature has adjourned.

2014 was a relatively mild session, fortunately.

It is always useful to have low expectations about a legislative session. After all, there are a limited number of problems that politicians can fix.

In addition, too much mischief can ensue when 160 politicians are brought together annually for a 60-day period. They feel the need to legislate, whether any legislation is needed or not.

This is especially true when they are up for re-election every two years. Another reason why sessions every other year, in non-election years, could be beneficial.

Politicians had an easy time this year. The state was flush with cash, as a direct result of the government following a path of fiscal responsibility for the past four years.

Each of those years has seen revenue increases, as opposed to a decline for each of the previous four years.

To the extent that the state government can overcome fiscal irresponsibility at the federal level, Florida's economy is booming.

This year legislators were able to provide an additional billion dollars to the public schools, put away $3 billion into reserves and still provide a half-billion dollars in tax relief to Florida residents.

There is the usual number of “turkeys” to be expected – projects known as “pork barrel” in other states. As yet Florida TaxWatch has not done its annual census of the flock, but with an election looming we could expect the toll to be larger than last year. Let's hope the governor will exercise his veto power.

Also, the spending that was authorized did not, and could not, come close to satisfying the desires of the liberal element, which can detect “needs” that elude any person with even a modicum of fiscal responsibility.

Nevertheless, the Legislature did several things to improve access to education, including lowering the cost of the prepaid tuition program and increasing school choice opportunities.

It also enacted a “Florida GI Bill” to help veterans, who are being treated shabbily by the federal government.

A bipartisan group of legislators working with prosecutors, law enforcement, victims and medical professionals put together four bills designed to better protect children from sexual predators.

There was also legislation – on a bipartisan basis – to reform Florida’s child welfare system.

As always, the environment received considerable attention, with legislation to protect Lake Okeechobee and the Indian River Lagoon.

Those in the media who assess the value of a legislative session by the amount of money spent or the number of bills passed may not have seen such actions as worthy of much note, but to those concerned with actually improving those things government can improve, they were significant.

Good intentions won't ensure great results, of course. There may be unintended consequences of various legislative acts, requiring corrective action later. But overall the 2014 Legislature acquitted itself well and apparently did little damage.

Lloyd Brown was in the newspaper business nearly 50 years, beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. After retirement he served as speech writer for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.


Tags: News, Columns

Comments (3)

it sounds good
10:36AM MAY 13TH 2014

They love the illegal's because they need them to vote no matter who they vote for. It doesn't matter as long as its numbers of voters. the need the volumes of votes which they can then set to elect their anointed ones.

The votes of we the people scratched out onto paper ballots either in a voting booth or on an absentee ballot are then fed through optical scanners which are supposed to count those votes. In St. Lucie County Fl in November 2012 Obama got 141% of the votes cast.

The scanners contain chips which can be set by special handlers coded to provide a certain number of votes to the winner they want. Depending upon if it's a two person race (or issue) or a primary with several candidates the remainder of the votes are spread among other candidates as set by the chips administrator. The inventer Clint Curtis has testified under oath that this is why elections some times have more than 100% of the registered number of voters showing up.

When Jeb Bush was governor of Florida he passed an administrative order against recounting ballot by hand. Any recount must be done on the same electronic machine that counted the ballots the first time. Check this out and you will find every word is true!

Until the people stop this from happening we can vote our way to the pits of hell and it will be like Hillary says "what difference does it make?"
9:20AM MAY 15TH 2014
Let's deal in facts, folks. The vote in St. Lucie was 123,301, or 70 percent.
Karen Schoen
10:18AM MAY 13TH 2014
What part of tuition for illegal invaders is good for Floridians out of work? Illegals getting law licenses is good? This magnet will bring more invaders to Florida now paid for by "we the people" supported by a Governor who was elected to stop illegals. Did Scott lie to get elected? The budget was raised by $7 Billion and this too is good? Subsidies for billionaires to build stadiums, foreign corporations getting favored status over Americans in special zones, changing the name from Common Core to Sunshine fools no one. These legislators favored special interest at the expense of Floridians who are restricted and are losing businesses and homes. Vote these liars out. Make a difference.

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