Thumb down: Business as usual in Florida Legislature

Treasure Coast Newspapers Editorial

May 18, 2017

Barbara Petersen, president of Florida’s First Amendment Foundation, wrote Gov. Rick Scott last week, urging him to veto Senate Bill 2500, the Budget Appropriations Bill. Petersen and her organization didn’t oppose any of the substantive programs and issues in the bill. Instead, they objected to the “lack of transparency” in the budget process.

“The secretive process precluded any opportunity for public oversight or input on major policy and appropriation decisions,” Petersen wrote. “Alarmingly, local government officials were also shut out of the process, as were many legislators who were ultimately asked to approve a budget decided in a manner closed even to them.”

It’s fair to question a system that vests so much authority in a handful of legislative leaders.

On the strength of promises by House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, the recently concluded legislative session was supposed to set new standards for transparency and accountability. Unfortunately, in many respects, it was business as usual. [READ MORE]

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