Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Florida Legislature: What to Do, What to Do

The annual Florida Legislative session opens today in Tallahassee. The chambers of both Houses will be decked in flowers, a signal that hope springs eternal. But what do you hope the legislature will accomplish this year? Today, I'd like to start a conversation about what you would like to see the legislature accomplish this year.

Of course the big issues that everyone is talking about are the twin terrors facing property owners: insurance and taxes. The St. Petersburg Times has an excellent article today about the tax issues. Inevitably, every other issue facing the state is intertwined with the tax issue. There are education challenges both in K-12 and the university system. Managing growth and transportation issues loom large. How about crime and the cost of Gov. Crist's Anti-Murder bill?

There are plenty of challenges and opportunities facing the legislature this year. How about we get the on line conversation going? Maybe our legislators will take notice of what we say. After all, hope springs eternal.


Kenneth said...

Since I'm not a homeowner, those issues don't particularly work for me. I also don't know enough about the anti-murder bill to say one way or the other. Obviously, I'm opposed to murder, but will the bill work and is it worth the cost?

The biggest issues to me are related to representation -- paper trail ballots and redistricting reform. If these things don't get fixed, then Florida will continue to have policies out of line with the will of Floridians. It seems the first is going to be addressed and the second ignored.

Sunny said...

I work hard for my money. I'd like to keep more of it.

It's time to put government on a budget.

A review of the various tax reform proposals-with the resulting loss of funds to local government-will finally put the power back in the hands of government's employers-Florida's citizens.

We must require government to live within its means, as we all do.

Government has been permitted for far too long to reach into our wallets, forcing us to live on less and less.

An increased sales tax only pickpockets us further. Government has both hands out. Florida tax payers are being asked to put a little bit less in government's property tax left hand while being required to put more in government's sales tax right hand.

Meanwhile, we're left with the same empty wallet.

Time to tighten their belts.

As for the Anti-Murder bill...I think Mr. Crist has bigger issues to deal with than how to make Florida even more of a prison state.

Michael Hussey said...

Restoring felon voter rights is something we should hold Charlie Crist to.

gatordem said...

Thanks to all of you for getting the conversation started. There are many, many serious issues facing Florida right now.

For a long term strategic project, I like the idea of working to get Re-Districting on the ballot in November of 2008. If we do it right, we can use it as get out the vote tool like the wingnuts did with the gay marriage bans last cycle. I doubt our Legislature will even take the topic up this session.

Fixing Florida's screwed up voting system, including restoring felon's right to vote is also near and dear to the hearts of progressives. We should hold the Governor's feet to the fire on these issues.

Government spending is certainly going to be a huge topic this session. It might be good for the state legislators to remember that during the 8 years under Jeb, they pushed more and more costs down to the local governments. These are the same local governments that they are now castigating for being such profligate spenders.

I also think for a long term quality of life in florida focus, we need to get serious about smart growth and transportation reforms.