JaxPoliticsOnline.com

Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Special Session priorities?

Our legislators have such an interesting set of priorities considering the huge budget hole they are staring down. 

One of the first things House members did today was to vote down 70-42 (along party lines), Rep. Waldman’s bid to get his bill to increase cigarette taxes heard.  Rep. Waldman’s proposal would have raised up to $700 million.   According to the Tallahassee Democrat,

House Majority Leader Adam Hasner of Delray Beach said the Democratic attempt was misguided and poorly timed in a statement he issued immediately after the vote.  “There are too many unknowns right now about an increased cigarette sales tax, such as how much it would collect and when we would start to realize the new revenue, to add this issue to the condensed agenda of the Special Session at this time,” Hasner said in the statement.

I wonder why that same logic didn’t apply to raising fines for speeders. 

As for the Senate, one of the first thing its members did today was vote on a resolution expressing their solidarity with Israel. 

Who elected these people?

Both the House and Senate refused to take a look at Florida’s current sales tax structure with it numerous exemptions during the Special Session.  However, to his credit, Senate President Jeff Atwater promised it would be a subject of the Senate’s when it begins meeting in regular session in March.  I hope he has more success in getting rid of the sales tax exemptions than one of his predecessors – former Senator (and former Senate President) John McKay.

BTW, the House approved its budget on a 73-40 vote; the Senate, 27-13. The House-Senate conference committees will work over the weekend to reconcile differences.

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