Florida Legislative Session So Far

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Tallahassee, FL -
26 yeas, 12 nays, Mister President.

Barely 48t hours after lawmakers returned to the capitol, and in the Senate, education reform is already a done deal. All but one Democrat voted against a bill that would eliminate teacher tenure and make pay increases dependent on student test scores. But, the bill's Republican architect says it also includes a long list of concessions.

Senator Stephen Wise, (R) Jacksonville, says, "We think we've put together a plan that's not perfect, but we've put the skeleton together so that we can have the school districts participate in this, because it's going to be their plan."

Members, please - for God's sake!

Meanwhile, the house has given final approval to a bill that would cut unemployment benefits by six weeks. It would also tighten eligibility, expanding the list of fireable offenses where businesses wouldn't have to pay the taxes that provide benefits for former employees.

Rep. Rick Kriseman /(D) St. Petersburg, says, "It will now allow your employer to have a say over how you behave in the mall, while dining at a restaurant and, worse, in your home. How is this less government? How is this less regulation? How is this government staying out of our lives?"

Republicans have championed the unemployment compensation bill as a way of reducing the tax burden on business and ultimately sparking hiring. Both that bill and the education reform legislation still have to make it through one more chamber before reaching the governor's desk.

Next week, the house has scheduled a marathon, 21-hour debate on education reform. A final vote could come as late as 1 am on Thursday morning.


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  • by Retired State Employee on Mar 12, 2011 at 06:35 AM
    Way to go! There is so much waste and abuse in state government. The agencies need to be cut back to the essentials.
  • by bad legislation Location: state on Mar 11, 2011 at 02:01 PM
    its laws like this that caused unions to form in the first place !
  • by Anonymous on Mar 11, 2011 at 11:53 AM
    The Unemployed, Fall of Small Businesses , You are right, these businesses did pay unemployment insurance. The Federal Government (congress) keeps extending the unemployment benefits without paying for the increased costs for these extended benefits and making the States pay for these additional weeks. This is not fair to the States, and Florida has no money to pay for it (we have borrowed to pay for it). The State legislature has done the right thing, by reducing the number of weeks for unemployment, the State saves money, and unemployment insurance for businesses can be reduced. Too bad for those unemployed, I guess now flipping burgers doesn't seem so bad.
  • by Jake Location: Madison on Mar 11, 2011 at 09:49 AM
    Sheep, all of you. Simple minded sheep. Baahhhh. Happy now? Better be. The worst is yet to come.
  • by The Unemployed, Fall of Small Businesses Location: Tallahassee on Mar 11, 2011 at 09:08 AM
    To Knowitall: my apologies, I did not read your post correctly. It is reassuring to see people like you see how the unemployed are being mistreated. Workers did their job, at no fault of their own, got laid off. Their employers by law paid into unemployment compensation or faced fed prosecution, fines. This is the cost of business. Businesses profit, break even or go under, again at no fault of the employee. It is good to protest for change, this has shaped our Nation. For example, GA is facing budget shortfalls too. Gov. Deal was cutting Pre-K to 1/2 day instead of full day Or cut the days of full days for school year to save billions of lottery dollars. He proposed he will cut 1/2 days, instead of cut no. of school days. Parents, teachers objected,flooded him with calls, e-mails, protests Atlanta Capitol.They would Not go away, and now Gov. is just shortening no. of days instead of 4 hour day Pre-K., which is much better. Correction: Unemployment is up in Leon, Wakulla,Jeff'son,Gadsd
  • by p. footlocke Location: tallahanasty on Mar 11, 2011 at 06:41 AM
    So add to the roll of folks who cannot pay their rent/mortage, cannot pay their property taxes. It hurts all of us. And then we cut taxes too and more people are laid off and needed programs cut. Why is it that people want it both ways and never want to consider the real costs? What we are now creating in this country are the very reason(S) we left England and founded this country in the first place! Couldn't own land, couldn't make a decent wage, no middle class and didn't have religious freedoms. We are being led by wolves in sheep's clothing! The end of collective bargining is very typical of communist states too (end of wage labour and private property).
  • by The Unemployed, Fall of Small Businesses Location: Tallahassee on Mar 11, 2011 at 05:46 AM
    To Knowitall and other haters: Who do you think make up the vast unemployed rolls? It is engineering, road, building, construction workers, carpenters, agriculture, manufactoring, tourism hotel restaurant trade and fishing industry, which are all Small Businesses, the job creators and backbone of Florida. These workers have been hit the hardest. Gov. state workers will be next to join them. Employment is up in Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Gadsden counties as I type this, so more will be on the rolls with legal rights to collect UC. I don't know what you do for a living, but be thankful you have Not lost your job. I wonder how you can sleep at night, you are very creul. It is not about who is governor. There are not enough jobs to go around for even those who voted for Scott and other tea baggers, repubs in the Legislature who are making our laws right now. You live in our Great State so you are taking advantage of government services whether you apreciate it or not.
  • by Beth on Mar 11, 2011 at 04:53 AM
    These deep cuts will effect everyone even you tea baggers ...so the real joke will be on you.
  • by Earmarks on Mar 11, 2011 at 04:36 AM
    Just wait until session is over and reports start to come out on ALL THE EARMARKS Rep. Legislators added onto bills! This is going to be hundreds of millions of dollars! But they will tell you that their earmarks have no effect on the budget!
  • by disgusted on Mar 11, 2011 at 04:34 AM
    I was able to watch some of the televised finance and tax committee meeting the other day. I was appalled at hearing these representatives asking questions that no one had answers for. It was pointed out that even 5 years after the last tax cut, no one has ever figured out what benefit it was to the state, no one could project what further taxcuts will do, one even asked why pass new corporate cuts and not close loopholes when the state is in debt. The Chairman said," members must be ready to make tough decisions as the tax cuts WILL be made and other means will need to be found to cover the losses".
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