Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Florida’s Economic Forecast: Cloudy and Cold

Don’t expect winter tourism to help boost Florida’s sagging economy.  Normally, South Florida sees a bump in tourists every time a cold front moves through up north.  The winter season generally accounts for 60% of their years’ $110 milion bed tax.  With that  influx also comes sales tax dollars to Florida’s coffers.  But not this year according to the Miami Herald.  Broward County is so desperate that they are sending their “Beachmobile” to Washington, DC for the Obama inauguration.  For those of you that may not be familiar with the Beachmobile (I know I wasn’t), it’s a vehicle with mannequins clothed in bathing suits inside a plastic-enclosed beach.  The Beachmobile will drive to Washington from its current assignment in frigid Manhattan where it’s currently a balmy 19 degrees (but feels like 2). 

Looks like it’s going to continue to be cloudy and cold weather for Florida’s economy.


Filed under: Florida, , , ,

This is a budget cut?

I am still trying to figure the following bill out – especially how it figures into the budget cutting equation. 

Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff, (R-Broward and Palm Beach Counties and Majority Whip 2006-2008) has filed House Bill 11A.  Essentially, this bill would require that any time the State outsourced human services related to mental health, substance abuse, child welfare, or juvenile justice and passed a new governmental mandate that was not in place when the human services were contracted out, the State must renegotiate the contract  if there is a “material adverse financial impact” on the contractor. 

A “material adverse financial impact” is defined in the bill as increase in reasonable costs that is the lesser of 1) 5% of the maximum obligation amount or  unit price of the contract; or, 2) $10,000 in the aggregate for all new governmental mandates taking effect during the calendar year of the contract term; or an action that affects the core and primary intent of the contract.

In addition, the contractor’s employees’ cost-of-living wage increases are tied to raises given to state employees.  There are also a bunch of new reports and recordkeeping requirements placed on the state agencies.

So exactly how is this a budget cut? 

I thought it was supposed to be cheaper to outsource, but when you are paying private employees the same pay increases that you are giving state employees, requiring the State agencies to do more analysis, and essentially guaranteeing contract modifications for additional government mandates by giving the contractors a right to a hearing if the agency refuses to modify the contract, where are the cost savings? 

Maybe I’m missing something here.

Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , , , , , , , , ,

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