Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Could State Workers See A 5% Pay Cut?

This is one of the latest proposals being tossed about as lawmakers scramble to close a $6 billion deficit.

Florida taxpayers could save upward of $304 million if the Legislature cut every state worker’s salary by about 5 percent, according to an analysis produced by the state Senate.

Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander confirmed Monday that staffers have analyzed a variety of pay-cut scenarios in order to help legislators figure ways to fill a budget deficit that could reach $3 billion next fiscal year.

“It’s a challenging, difficult time,” Alexander said. “There are not easy times and for those of us who prefer to do things that are popular it’s really hard.”

You’ve got to consider that many of these employees are not six-figured individuals.  They are middle class individuals making an average wage.  A 5% pay cut could be potentially devastating to many of these individuals, particularly if they are sole wage earners or have a spouse also in state government, or even worse, have a spouse who has lost their job.


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

Quotes from Esteemed Florida Legislators

Its been an interesting week in Tallahassee and nothing illustrates that better than these enlightening quotes from our elected officials.  We truly strive for the best and brightest in Florida politicians, don’t we?

First up, State Senator Larcinia Bullard (D-Miami)…  Sen. Bullard, during a discussion on legislation that would ban bestiality (yes, it’s still legal in Florida) was apparently curious about the mention of the word “animal husbandry.”  “People are taking these animals as their husbands? … So that maybe was the reason the lady was so upset about that monkey?” Bullard asked, referring to a Connecticut woman mauled by a pet chimpanzee. Doh! Read the rest of this entry »

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

State Sen. Ronda Storms goes after Dewey Decimal System

With such issues as balancing a $2 billion+ state budget deficit apparently a little too mundane, State Sen. Ronda Storms has decided to go after the Dewey Decimal System of Library filing.  Well, that and ‘Seinfeld.’

Storms, R-Valrico, railed against the book-cataloging system during a budget hearing on state library aid, calling the Dewey Decimal System “anachronistic,” costly and just plain frustrating.

The system requires training for both staff and users, she complained. If Barnes & Noble organizes its books more simply, why can’t libraries?

“A lot of little old librarians are going to have a heart attack that I even said that out loud,” Storms said during Wednesday’s hearing. “But it really is ridiculous.”

Secretary of State Kurt Browning, who oversees state support of libraries, told the committee that Dewey Decimal is the national standard, set by the Library of Congress.

“The Library of Congress can do what the Library of Congress wants,” Storms said. “If it’s costing us money … it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.”

Browning spokeswoman Jennifer Davis later addressed the money issue. “Conversion to another system would be very costly,” she said.

The senator had another bone to pick as well – over “Seinfeld.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

Dialing for Dollars

Things are already heating up in the race to fill Jim King’s State Senate seat when he retires in 2010.  It may be two years away, but the two declared candidates, Jacksonville City Councilman Art Graham (R) and former Florida State Representative Aaron Bean (R), have already been busy raising funds for what will probably be the hottest race in town.

Art Graham has already raised over $50,000 from such reliable sources as Auld & White Contractors Inc, John D Baker II, John D Clark III, Fidelity National, J B Coxwell and Howard Korman.  (Real Estate may be a depressed industry at the present time, but the current economic state notwhithstanding, Mr. Graham seems to be having no problem convincing the industry to pony up cash.)

Mr. Graham’s haul; however, pales in comparison to Aaron Bean’s staggering $164,000+.  That’s right, two years before an election to a post that pays less than $50,000, Mr. Bean has already collected six figures.  Aaron Bean’s donor list reads like a “Who’s Who” of Florida lobbyist and powerful PAC’s.  He has the unquestioned support of Florida’s medical and dental community with thousands of dollars raised in contribution from their respective political action committees.  The question Mr. Graham might want to ask of Mr. Bean is “Who raised more contributions from the actual residents/voters of the district?”  In that respect, Mr. Graham might have a shot.  Aaron Bean, despite his long-time Fernandina Beach residency, seems more focused on raising Tallahassee, South Florida, Georgia and New York dollars than those of his former constituents in the Florida House.

Filed under: Florida Legislature, Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, , , ,

Stan Jordan’s Manueverings

As previously discussed, it would appear that Stan Jordan is entertaining the possibility of not serving his full term on the Duval County School Board.  As of the last pre-election filing, Mr. Jordan had raised $34,675.35 for the School Board race.  His expenditures only totaled $13,338.79, leaving seed money of $21,336.56 to jump-start a future race…

Filed under: Florida Legislature, Jacksonville, , ,

Musical Chairs

The dust has barely settled on the 2008 Election and politicians are already positioning themselves for the next step on the ladder.

Word on the street is that newly-elected Duval County School Board Member Stan Jordan has no intent on filling out his term on the School Board.  By all accounts, he has his eyes set on the State Senate seat that Jim King will be vacating in two yearas.  Mr. Jordan apparently simply needed a job until the Senate seat opens and figured a return to the School Board would be an easy win.  (Rumor has it that Mr. Jordan tried to convince Ken Manuel, his opponent in the School Board race, to set aside his interest in the seat for the time being, and in return, Jordan would push him for an appointment to the seat when Jordan vacated it.)  Talk about premature speculation…

Of course, Jordan won’t be the only one contending for Jim King’s seat.  State Rep. Aaron Bean has already announced his candidacy, and Jacksonville City Council Members Art Graham and Richard Clark are also said to be interested…

Filed under: Florida Legislature, Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, , , , , , , ,

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