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Chiles Anniversary

December 10th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

It was ten years ago this Friday that Governor Lawton Chiles passed away with just 3 weeks left in his term.

The former US Senator and two-term Governor won large cash settlements from big tobacco that became a model for the nation, he fought for kids health care and quality pre school. On the anniversary of his death, his son says life for children in Florida would be better today if his dad had lived to be a voice of reason for state policy makers.

“It would be profoundly different,” Bud Chiles, the former governor’s son said. “We would have continued the priority Pre-K education. We’d have a heck of a lot more kids in the insurance program. We’d be doing outreach to make sure those kids knew about those programs, to get them involved. We’d be spending less on remediation and criminal justice and more on the front end.”

Florida’s infant mortality rate rivals that of a third world nation, and the well being of children rank in the bottom quartile of most statistical ranking.

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