We must change Tallahassee

This is why we have to change who we send to Tallahassee. The unemployment rate is 10.2 and leadership in Tallahassee decided to make some sort of ideological statement to the new administration in Washington. Government should be about making people's lives better and helping those in need, not making hollow ideological statements just because you don't like the President. 

We need to change leadership in Tallahassee. Let's start in 2010! 

EDITORIAL: State's $444 million mistake

Palm Beach Post Editorial

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Last week, Floridians learned that the state's unemployment rate hit 10.2 percent in May, the highest rate since 1975, after the Arab oil embargo damaged the construction and travel industries. It's double the unemployment rate of just a year ago.

The rising joblessness figures are a big surprise to nobody. But they underline how foolish the Legislature was, during this year's session, to turn down $444 million from the federal government that could have eased the impact on Floridians who can't find work. House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach, called the money an "unfunded mandate." But it wasn't. Florida would have had to increase some benefits. But the increased costs were less per year than the feds would have provided. Though Rep. Hasner insisted that the increases would be permanent, federal guidance indicated that the increased payments could have been canceled once the economy improved.

That money would have been welcome not just to those who are out of work but also to grocery stores, landlords, drugstores and others. They would have benefited from the boost in spending the extra benefits would have made possible. Unemployed people spend their benefits, making such cash a quick-hitting stimulus.

But Rep. Hasner and other ideologues stood in the way. Their ideology won't be much comfort to the 10.2' percent who are unemployed in Palm Beach County, the 10.3 percent in Martin County and the 13.3'percent in St. Lucie County. The more those rates increase, the more foolish the Legislature looks, and the more reason someone in Tallahassee should find out whether the state still could apply.


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