Up and Running

After four hurricanes, Gov. Jeb Bush told lawmakers, "The state of our state is stronger than ever."

Bush outlined a laundry list of programs in his annual speech from repealing class size to expanding vouchers, reforming Medicaid to hurricane relief, and making it harder for people to change the Constitution.

He honored an Iraqi living in Florida who voted in his national election, and a National Guardsman who has been in Iraq and is heading to Afghanistan.

When it came to issues, most of the applause was muted. Critics say the governor didn’t fill in the blanks and he lacks specifics.

Rep. Ron Greenstein, (D) Broward County, says, "What we got right there was a preamble. The first speech is someone who looks like running for president. You got a situation where you just gave us the top of the iceberg but didn’t come through with the details."

Afterward the governor brushed aside his critics.

Bush said, "It’s a pretty heavy, heavy lift for the Legislature. The concern I think ought to be is this too much rather than is it nothing."

Florida is flush with cash, and a strong economy is bringing in more. For the first time in four years, legislative leaders like each other and have promised to get along.

While this year’s legislative agenda is very full, the first 10 days of this session are clearly going to be dominated by the question of what if anything can be done for Terri Schiavo? The first hearing on a bill that could prolong Terri Schiavo’s life will be on Wednesday.


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