Wasteful special session

Published: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 26, 2004 at 10:31 p.m.

Once again insiders in Tallahassee, with an eye towards the November elections, are attempting to try to pull off a political stunt for electoral gain. As a legislator here in North Central Florida, I have always fashioned myself and my voting record on sound fiscal spending and not pull the wool over the eyes of my constituents.

Voters are too smart and read right through recent political stunts like the one some lawmakers tried to pull this week regarding KidCare.

In 1998, the Legislature created KidCare as a program where the state maximizes every federal dollar available for children's health insurance. By law, as much as every three dollars Florida receives from the federal government, the state must match with one dollar.

Currently, Florida's KidCare program is designed to leave no unspent federal funds. Additionally, we will not know if there are any new funds available to match until early March of this year. Anyone who tells you anything different is trying to pull a fast one on you.

Certain legislators now want to call for a special session to supposedly fund this program. I am not in favor of wasting taxpayers' precious dollars on a political stunt, like an unnecessary special session, especially since the regular legislative session starts in five weeks.

If the U.S. government advises us in March there will be more federal funds for our state, I will vote to fully match the program with additional dollars. We will no doubt take up that type of legislative action in the regular 2004 legislative session, not in an unneeded, wasteful Special Session.

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