The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board is particularly blunt this morning: "Many of those lawmakers spent the last decade bleeding state revenue in the name of low taxes while failing utterly, like slacker students who refuse to plan ahead, to prepare for difficult times."
Those difficult times are here. Lawmakers were self-serving in the years leading to the often-predicted real estate collapse. They're now proving stubborn to the point of willful negligence as they continue to find ways to evade their responsibility."Legislators ... can stop pretending that the only way to grow an economy, even as it caves, is to stave off higher taxes by eviscerating its schools."
If an economy is rebuilt from that ashen thinking, it's not the kind of economy too many people would be proud of.Much more here: "Schools to power".
Before long, companies won't have to look south of the border for cheap, desperate and unskilled labor. Who needs the North American Free Trade Agreement when you have Florida? ...
Education in Florida is suffering. More cuts will amount to thievery from a generation's future. Higher taxes, a shared responsibility for all, are part of the solution.
Lawmakers may not be educated enough to understand what middle schoolers already do.
Wait til the "values crowd" gets a load of this
The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board:
Rather than build 19 new prisons at a cost of $100 million each over the next five years — the state's projected need — Department of Corrections Secretary Walter McNeil and other highly placed public state officials and the courts are working to change the lives of inmates through education and rehabilitation."Our Opinion: Crime-reduction means changing attitudes and treatment".
"The greatest work of fiction to come out of the Legislature"
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "It's the greatest work of fiction to come out of the Legislature this session. It goes like this: Florida needs the bills that would abolish or dismantle the agency regulating growth, the bills' proponents say, because they'd save the state tons of money, remove a lot of bureaucratic clutter while preserving regulatory principles and help rejuvenate the state's moribund economy." "Rep. Cannon and his allies should abandon nonsensical attack on DCA".
The Peoples' Governor
"Despite pledging to run the most open administration in Florida history, Gov. Charlie Crist will not fully disclose details of his political travel on private jets owned by special interests and wealthy Republican Party donors." "Charlie Crist shields details of travel on private jets". See also "Who buys when Gov. Charlie Crist flies?".
James, bring the "Charlie Crist has taken more than 100 flights on private jets since becoming Florida's governor"
"Jobs will be lost, programs axed and schools shuttered"
"The bombshell that Orange County's school leaders will have to cut nearly double what they anticipated from next year's budget has left thousands of teachers, parents and students anxious that their jobs will be lost, programs axed and schools shuttered."
During the next few months, they'll learn exactly how the nation's 11th-largest school district will shed $240 million from its $1.4 billion budget. That could mean more than 1,000 people losing their jobs, as well as other drastic measures the district has been trying to avoid, such as the closing of more schools."Facing deeper budget cuts, what's next for besieged Orange schools?".
The Miami Herald editorial board: "Florida Power & Light could not have picked a worst time than it did last Wednesday to announce an intention to seek a whopping 31 percent increase in the base rate for electricity. That was the day a rain storm left 17,000 FPL customers without power, causing some to wonder how well the utility manages with what it has." "This is news: high rates = lower bills".
"Wasserman Schultz to talk about her breast cancer on morning TV" "Wasserman Schultz to talk about her breast cancer on morning TV".
Background: It was reported yesterday that "Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz disclosed on Saturday that she endured seven major surgeries last year, including removal of a malignant tumor, to win a bout against breast cancer." "Wasserman Schultz says she's a breast cancer survivor". See also "U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz reveals cancer battle".
Perhaps part idiot is the real question
"In a jab at Florida Rep. Bill Posey's citizenship bill, Stephen Colbert said he wants Posey to undergo DNA testing to put to rest the persistent rumor that Posey is part alligator." "From Capitol Hill obscurity to scorn" ("Low-key Florida Rep. Bill Posey raises a stink with his bill requiring presidential candidates to provide proof of citizenship.")
The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "The Florida Supreme Court's unanimous opinion upholding the ban on legislators accepting gifts from lobbyists was one of the few bright spots last week in Tallahassee." "Put limits on lawmakers' slush funds".
"The pair shares an uncommon trait: They're red-meat Republicans from the most liberal stretch of Florida."
"Hasner and Bogdanoff are basically wolves in sheep's clothing," said Eric Jotkoff, spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party. "They claim to be moderates when they go to their district, yet they are leading ... the most partisan, divisive agenda we've seen in a long time in Tallahassee.""Sun-Sentinel: GOP's Hasner and Bogdanoff partisan and determined in Tallahassee".
The RPOFer pitchfork crowd's a comin'
"Republican Buchanan votes for a 'tax thing'".
Forttunately, we're a low tax state
"Conducting a drill that asked them to look at worst-case scenario of between 10 percent and 20 percent cuts, grim-faced agency heads stood before powerful committee chairs and ticked off the list of horribles."
An addition of 20,000 to an already teeming wait-list for early-learning programs, pink slips for 70 state troopers, 60,000 poor and elderly adults denied dentures and hearing aids, 5,000 frail and elderly without in-home meals and daily living services, 328 severely disabled clients losing the health care that keeps them out of institutions, early release for thousands of prisoners."Budget cuts may run deep for many in Florida".
"They winter in Florida to take advantage of the warm waters. But experts say it's still not warm enough for the manatees." "Power plants to keep Fla. manatees warm".
There's an idea
"A central Florida county is considering electronically monitoring nonviolent offenders instead of keeping them in jail." "Florida jail considers electronic monitoring".
"In more normal times ..."
"State lawmakers have long wanted to improve high school graduation standards in Florida's public schools, and in more normal times bills like HB 1293 and SB 2694 would be embraced with open arms." "Tallahassee wants to raise academic standards".
Already a target
"Before he's even sworn in as Palm Beach County's latest (but not last) commission appointee, Steven Abrams has to wonder whether fellow Republicans will give him a clear shot at getting elected next year." "Abrams already target for 2010 ouster".
The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "Local governments are acting because the Southwest Florida Water Management District has not put meaningful watering restrictions in place to respond to the drought. Swiftmud should get serious when its governing board meets March 31, and it should bring some uniformity to the water restrictions of the 16 counties it serves." "Unify tough water rules".
"A final vote on the Florida Marlins plan to move to Miami's Little Havana is expected from South Florida politicians." "Final vote looms for Marlins ballpark".