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110th Session Since State Hood Faces Tough Choices

March 4th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

The Florida Legislature is back in session. The opening gavel sounded just after 11 this morning. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, Making do with less is going to make this one of the toughest sessions in two decades.

The gavel marked the 110th time lawmakers have met since statehood

“So please, Oh God…” Two ministers, a priest and a rabbi took note of the state’s dire straights.
Rabbi Jack Romberg of Tallahassee told lawmakers not to forget children “Whatever sacrifices must be made, let them not be at the expense of our children.”

The first thing lawmakers must do is cut half a billion from the current budge. Then reduce next years spending by 5 times that much. Senate President Ken Pruitt told fellow senators darkness is always followed by light. “It’s times like these when our metal is tested. It’s a whole lot easier when there’s a lot of money.”

The House Speaker painted a much darker picture. Marco Rubio made it clear no taxes or fees are on his plate.
“It’s not a bad year for government, it’s a bad year for people. There’s a reason we have less revenue, it’s because people have less money. They’re suffering economically. People are hurting.”

It is ironic that it’s raining here on opening day, because the biggest battle is between the governor and the legislature over the state’s use of the rainy day fund to plug a budget hole.

There will also be a battle over who sets tuition and controls the state universities…The Board of Governors or the Legislature. “Do they want an unelected board to set tuition?” was the rhetorical question asked by Senate President Ken Pruitt in his opening address.

By the end of the 60 day session, hundreds of bills will be considered. The state land buying program will be renewed, more cameras to catch red light runners will be authorized. But in the end, the state will have less money to spend than it has the last two years.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Education, Elections, Legislature, Politics, State Budget, State News | No Comments »

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