Archive for May, 2011

Labor Asks, Where’s the Jobs?

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Lawmakers said the focus was on creating jobs. Labor is not impressed with their work.

   Governor Rick Scott and leaders of the Florida Legislature vowed to make job creation the top priority of the 2011 session.  
   Scott said lawmakers wrote a “jobs” budget. Union leaders call such statements absurd. The AFL-CIO said for working people it was the worst session in memory. Rich Templin said any suggestion that lawmakers met their goal of creating jobs is ludicrous.
  Governor Scott said it is his belief that a smaller government sets the stage for the private sector to grow. That is the cornerstone of his plan to create 700,000 jobs in seven years.  He is promising supporters a diet of more cuts in spending, taxes and regulations.  To hear a radio report click on session.

Florida Forever Funds Run Dry

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Lawmakers zeroed out the budget for the land-buying program.

   Tuesday the Governor and state Cabinet approved   a five-year action plan for Florida Forever, an environmentally-sensitive land buying program.   It was mostly a ceremonial exercise; the nationally-acclaimed initiative  has no money to buy and protect wild land from development.

The Great Recession has forced Florida to cut spending for five straight years. Money that once flowed to Florida Forever has been diverted to other purposes. To hear a radio report click on  Florida Forever.


Chaos at the End

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

When the Senate rejected a deregulation bill it sent the Session into overtime.

    Florida lawmakers’ debate of policy issues continued into the early morning hours of  May 7th.   The 2011 Legislative Session ended shortly before 4:00 a.m. Saturday. 
   Lawmakers closed a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall with spending cuts. The package included more than $300 million in tax cuts and a major change in the state-run Medicaid program, privatization of south Florida prisons and a billion dollar cut for public schools.  
    To hear a radio report that aired Monday, May 9th click on session.

Labor Critiques Session

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011


Rich Templin is a spokesman for the Florida AFL-CIO


Last November Governor Rick Scott ran on a jobs, jobs, jobs theme. January he said he will be judged on how well he gets Florida back to work.

Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Speaker Dean Cannon said jobs were high on their agenda.

However, the 2011 Legislative Session may have done little to help the more than one million Floridians who are out of work. Senator Mike Fasano said he did not hear one debate on any legislation that would have a state-wide impact on job creation.  We placed Fasano’s statement in front of the AFL-CIO’s Rich Templin. 

He agreed with a St. Petersburg Times editorial that lawmakers treated many Floridians as the enemy. To hear a 4-minute excerpt of a May 10th interview click on Rich Templin

Session Final Days May 2nd

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee


Frustration builds during a 60-day Legislative session focused on cutting billions of dollars in state spending and attempting to change  state policy on immigration, abortion and workers’ rights.

When lawmakers reported to work on the final Monday many were complaining about being forced to cut teacher pay and shred the social safety net.

To hear a radio report produced the Monday of the final week click  on countdown to the end.

Session Final Days Part 1

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

The 2011 Legislative Session ended May 7th shortly before 4 a.m.


 House and Senate leaders reached a tentative budget agreement the final  Tuesday of the 2011 Legislative Session. Senate Budget chair JD Alexander went straight from a negotiating session with House Appropriation chair Denise Grimsely to the Senate floor to explain the details to Senators.

 The breakthrough came after a weekend when Alexander questioned whether House Speaker Dean Cannon wanted an agreement. To hear a radio report produced Tuesday May 3rd  click on end in sight

Gulf Coast Live

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Fort Myers listeners criticized the policies pursued by Governor and Legislature.


 The People’s Reporter ventured into Governor Rick Scott’s back yard and discussed the 2011 Florida Legislative Session with other reporters.  Southwest Florida is a GOP stronghold. The region sends some of the more pro-business, anti-government lawmakers to Tallahassee.

Criticism of the spending and tax cuts and the rewrite of environmental policies came as a surprise to your correspondent. You can listen to the program by clicking on WGCU.

Call on Tropical Currents

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
Call was a guest on WLRN Tropical Currents on May 9th.

A lively discussion of the 2011 Florida Legislative Session took place on WLRN- Miami Tropical Currents program Monday May 9th.

After the 40-minute mark, a caller who identified herself as a liberal Catholic turned the discussion to the left.
You can hear the program, hosted by Joe Cooper, by clicking on WLRN.