More From The "Values" Crowd
More From The "Values" Crowd
says he hunts down legislators' pet projects, particularly those that don't serve a statewide purpose or are not vetted by a government agency, and strips them from the budget on principle. By what standard, then, does he veto old people in nursing homes?"Whether nursing homes can survive or not, the governor should not be so eager in this case to substitute his judgment for that of the Legislature. When he vetoes nursing home expenses, he is also undermining a law designed to improve care."
The largest single cut Bush made Thursday in his final and record-total $449-million in vetoes was $91-million to pay increased Medicaid costs for poor elderly people.
Bush took similar liberties with indigent medical care and emergency trauma centers, vetoing $20-million for Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital and $500,000 for a Tallahassee Memorial Hospital trauma center. Is serving the medically indigent and critically ill merely a local responsibility?"The unkindest cut".
The governor has correctly chided lawmakers over the years for approving budget items without discussing the ramifications. But his vetoes of nursing homes and trauma centers subject him to the same criticism. How does he justify cutting money for programs that were fully debated and prescribed under law? Nursing home patients are not budget turkeys.
Issues For The I-4 Corridor
A West Central Florida poll: "When it came to the question of restricting growth, political affiliation didn't matter. Region didn't matter (voters were surveyed in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties). Overall, 71 percent agreed that state and local government should do more to restrict growth in Florida. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points." "Poll Shows Voters Are Fed Up With Bay Area Growth". See also "Voters See Education, Taxes As Main Issues".
Get Ready To Answer This Question, Please
"Four years after Florida voters told lawmakers to reduce class sizes in public schools, the state has made only minimal investments in new classrooms and remains without a road map for how to fund the multibillion-dollar plan."
Now, as the 2010 implementation deadline looms, the question moves to the next governor -- and the uncertainty continues."Candidates uncertain on class size".
Three of the candidates running to succeed Gov. Jeb Bush in November -- Republican Charlie Crist and Democrats Jim Davis and Rod Smith -- agree that it's time to find a way to pay for new classrooms and teachers without new taxes. But they offer few, if any, details on how to do that.
The fourth candidate, Republican Tom Gallagher, says the current plan would break the bank -- and he's "going to do every single thing we can to change it."
"Court review of campaign rhetoric: a slippery slope"..
Drilling "On The Clock"
"Final amendments to immigration legislation were still being debated on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon when Majority Leader Bill Frist convened a meeting to break the deadlock on another pressing issue: offshore oil and gas drilling." "Drilling debate on the clock".
"Florida has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country"
"High school graduation season has just concluded, and there's good reason to celebrate every single graduate. But Florida, alas, has far too many students who never get to experience that pomp and circumstance. ... The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research recently reported Florida has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country with just 61 percent of its students graduating in four years with a high school diploma. The institute doesn't count GED diplomas." "Florida Needs To Refigure How It Counts High School Graduates".
"'Rod Rocks Tampa Bay'"
Blown away by a speech Rod Smith gave in December, Francine Simmons decided to throw a house party for the Democratic candidate for governor Monday."Democratic candidate packs a house party full".
She thought maybe 20 or 30 people would show up. This is Tampa, after all, home of his primary challenger, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis.
Instead, 100 turned out.
Smith, a state senator from Alachua, was showered with applause as he arrived at Simmons' Citrus Park home with his two sons and launched an emphatic attack on the Republican administration. "We can win Florida again for the Democratic Party," Smith shouted.
"[I]f the state doesn't act quickly a new development that will house 22,000 residents will raise nitrate levels even higher, polluting the springs irrevocably." "Development, pollution muddying Florida's historic Silver Springs".
"A needed look at Pruitt":
When Senate President Tom Lee, R-Brandon, refused to investigate incoming Senate President Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, that was politics. When a Broward County Democratic committeeman filed a formal complaint to force the issue, that was justifiable politics. ...And Buddy Dyer was indicted for allegedly giving gas money to some folks to pick up absentee ballots?
Did Sen. Pruitt get a free house for helping his friends' construction business? Did Sen. Pruitt use campaign committees to pay off friends? Why did Sen. Pruitt's education charity raise $264,000 but spend only $7,500 on scholarships, its top priority? Did public money pay Rep. Bogdanoff's office rent on a building she owns?
Mr. Cimoch's complaint to the Florida Commission on Ethics promises a departure from the politics that have protected Sen. Pruitt and Rep. Bogdanoff. If that's political, Sen. Lee made it necessary.
"State seeks evidence of non-discrimination"
"Insurance companies say that by dipping into Floridians' private credit data -- learning who pays bills late and who's maxed out their charge cards -- they're able to save their policyholders money by sorting out "bad" risks from good ones. That claim's hard to swallow." "Florida's score".
"Bush is the lamest"
Of Lame ducks Tony Blair, Dubya and "Jeb!", "Gov. Bush is the lamest. His successor, whoever it turns out to be, started battling three other wannabes for the job before the Legislature met. Mr. Bush's allotted two terms are up right after the new year begins. He took office as a Republican surge filled the Legislature with ill-prepared zealots, whom he commanded with decreasing ease as they either self-destructed or learned the ropes. This year, they ignored Mr. Bush's scramble to make his school vouchers constitutional after the fact and did nothing with his devious plan to avoid paying for constitutionally required smaller class sizes." "No reason to duck out after 8 years".
Florida's "own anti-Axis of Evil foreign policy"
"Now that Florida is pursuing its own anti-Axis of Evil foreign policy, which countries should it target in the next round?" "Travel To Cuba".
"When Stephen Hogue,"
Tampa's police chief and a very fine man, heard of the prospect of 500,000 protesters descending on Tampa should the city be awarded the convention, the first words out of his mouth were: "Where will they all sleep?""The GOP Isn't Coming To Brigadoon".
Isn't that precious?
Oh, chief? Do you honestly think hundreds of thousands of grumpy people angry about the war, global warming, racism and social injustice are worried about hotel reservations?
They will sleep wherever they want.
In 2004, security costs associated with the GOP convention in New York were $75 million, involving more than 30,000 officers from various law enforcement agencies.
Tampa's bid estimated security costs for a 2008 convention at $9 million using a mere 1,500 officers.
Those figures are probably accurate for providing a secure environment around the St. Pete Times Forum and/or Brigadoon. Then what?
A tough issue for Mel:
Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, said Martinez "seems to see the benefits (of immigration), but he doesn't understand or think about the costs." Camarota said Martinez represented "the employers" who want access to cheap labor, "but the concerns of his constituents (who oppose amnesty or increasing the cap on legal immigration) didn't seem to loom very large." Martinez acknowledged that "sometimes our phones ring and they're hot," referring to what he called some "ugly, ugly" calls from angry citizens. But he said he also received support from farmers, contractors and tourism industry leaders who pleaded for more workers."Senate's only immigrant played key role in getting bill through".
Florida's Tax Structure
"Home sales have slowed and median prices are leveling off. The end of the property tax windfall isn't far behind, so you can bet Tallahassee and local governments are in for a squeeze." "Taxing Dilemma".
"Jeb Bush should look at new job possibilities after snubbing NFL".