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Black Caucus Says Fix Legislature’s Mistakes

January 15th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

The Black Caucus sent a letter to Governor Charlie Crist tonight calling on the Governor to “Fix the mistakes of the legislature. Here’s the full text of the letter:

Special Session Budget Cuts Fail the People of Florida

Florida needs more education, not more prisons. — South Florida Times, Jan. 14, 2009

This has not been the Florida Legislatures finest hour. Orlando Sentinel, Jan. 14, 2009

Not so special legislative session. The Miami Herald, Jan. 14, 2

TALLAHASSEE — Members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus (FLBC) are deeply disappointed with the budget cuts approved during the just-ended special session and are calling on Governor Charlie Crist to fix the Legislatures mistakes.

Members of the FLBC are urging the governor to put aside partisan politics and to veto some of the harshest cuts that will erode services for the states elderly, children, critically ill, disabled, poor, and struggling middle class.

The Chairman of the FLBC, State Representative Joe Gibbons, District 105-Pembroke Park and other members of FLBC are concerned that citizens of Florida, especially minorities in Florida will be disproportionately impacted by the spending reductions. Among programs and people to suffer under these cuts are:

n Pre-kindergarten programs that working families and struggling single mothers rely upon for basic care and education of their children.a

n Students and educators at Floridas historically black colleges and universities.

n Teachers, parents and students in all of Floridas public schools.

n Health programs, especially ones that serve the disabled, the poor, the blind, and the developmentally disabled.

Instead of cutting the budget, members of FLBC state better priorities for the Legislature would be to support:

n Programs that promote jobs and sustain the economy of urban and rural black communities;

n Funding for schools and reform of Floridas Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) to find fairer ways of measuring the real needs and challenges of our students and teachers;

n Better methods for helping those who are battling HIV/AIDS and other health conditions that are pronounced in the African American communities;

n Programs that assist those who are mentaally ill or drug dependent and others at risk of falling victim to crime and poverty.

I am appalled that the Florida Legislature, under the current leadership of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House is not sufficiently investing in the right priorities, such as our schools, our children, and the health programs that provide critical help for so many people, said Representative Gibbons. The people of Florida deserves better.

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