Legislative session wrapped yesterday and we’ve been breaking down Orlando’s Winners and Losers from the last couple of months.
You can check out the Winners HERE.
It’s never easy calling out the losers.
Unlike elections, hands aren’t raised after a clear choice is made by the people. Many times (especially this year) lawmakers are at the mercy of party leadership. They’ve got to work with their respective parties to promote their set of beliefs, and somehow maintain their district’s identity in the midst of the cacophony of political noise.
Along with hundreds of other lawmakers and lobbyists, and activists, and future opponents making noise back in their home districts.
Here we go:
House Democrats: The goal at the beginning of the session was clear. Expand Medicaid to accommodate the changes involved with the President’s Health Care Plan. Then House Dem Leader Perry Thurston changed the objective to, Expand Medicaid at any cost.
This set off a ridiculous series of events.
In protest, Thurston demanded that every bill be read aloud. He also did it during the last week, and with time running out, there was worry that bills would die. This was a poorly thought out strategy, and House Speaker Will Weatherford rolled out the Auto Reader, and you heard an electronic voice in the Florida House for almost two days.
When the Hanky fell, and session closed, Medicaid was untouched. Goal not reached. Mission failed.
You could argue that this tactic also killed the Orlando City’s chances of a Soccer stadium money and put their bid of getting an MLS franchise in jeopardy. Speaking of that…..
The Orlando City Soccer Club and Mayor Buddy Dyer: I already did a full write-up on this. It’s unfortunate, but they lost out yesterday.
State Senator Kelli Stargell: Stargell had to watch “Parent Empowerment” or “Parent Trigger” fail in the Senate, because 6 fellow “R”s voted against the legislation, that would have allowed parents to make sweeping changes at failing schools. She’s announced that she won’t refile the legislation. It was unfortunate but Stargell will rebound.
Medical Marijuana: Nope… Sorry
Biggest Blunder?- State Reps. Bruce Antone and Ricardo Rangel: Antone and Rangel voted mistakenly in favor of the measure that nullified Orange County Sick Time, before they realized what it was. They switched their votes to nay… Yep, we saw that.
The bill passed anyways.
It was an entertaining session. We’ll have Report Cards for each Lawmaker over the next couple of days.