Search and Categories

The Lemieux Report

www.thelemeiuxreport.com

4/28/08

Special Budget Update…

House/Senate concluded on Sun. afternoon…

proposed budget cuts the pay of State Legislators 5%…

and…includes $110 million in new fees…

Nursing homes $164 million in reductions…

but an additional $55 million from Lawton Chiles Endowment ..alloted for healthcare and senior services…

State colleges and Universities…6% increase

2008 budget up for full vote by the chamber this week includes…

no new taxes …does not dip into the Fl. Rainy Day Fund…

Topic 1.

Constitutional Amendment Per TBRC

final meeting was last week…Tax Budget Reform Committee…

scored final passage on 3 highly debated proposals…

tax trade off…cut 25% from property taxes currently allocated for education funding…

decrease an est. $90 billion …school fund…balanced out through imposing at least a 1 cent sales tax increase…eliminate 246 sales tax exemptions in the current state tax law and further cut state budget…

state funding of religion organizations… vouchers…trying to overturn 2006 Fl. Supreme Court decision …

65% education funding… with 65% minimum “classroom use “requirement…

right now “classroom use” is under 60% and the clarification of what exactly constitutes that term is murky…such as includes…school nurses and guidance counselors…

Teachers Unions are threatening court action…citing TBRC overstepped their scope…

4 other proposals…to amend Fl. State Constitution will appear on Nov. ballot..also proposed by TBRC..

allow option sales tax for community colleges

property tax breaks for working waterfronts

conservation lands

property owners who improve energy efficiency and windstorm protection…

Bottom Line…

work of the 2008 TBRC is nearly completed…funding for group will end…will present final recommendations to Governor/ Legislators …committee will then relinquish their posts…

Topic 2…

Inflation – It’s Here…

Federal government reports consumer prices are on the rise …posting substantial increases over the past 15 months…

1st 3 mos. of 2008…consumer prices increased at a seasonably adjusted rate of 3.1%

compared to 4/1% for all of 2007…

index energy…rose 17.4% in 2007…

advanced 8.6% in 1st Qtr. 2008…

food….5.3% in 1st Qtr.2008…

4.9% in 2007

index grocery …5.9% annual rate w/ whopping 15.7% in cereal/bakery goods..

Note: box of cereal…around $6….blame it also on the ethanol… BCbts…opinion

Bottom line…

inflation is back impacting economy in ways Americans have not seen since the late 1970’s…

Topic 3….

Be Sure What You Sign…

The 1st Dist. Court of Appeals …this week…ruled unconstitutional the signature revocation law for petitions to amend state constitution…noting signature revocation is not referenced in citizen initiative provision of Fl. Constitution…

Case in question…Fl. Hometown Democracy ballot initiative…which was defeated earlier this year….after failing to meet number of required signatures…

Recent changes to Fl. statute allow a petitioner to remove their name from pre- signed petition….legislation allowed pro business to organize revocation drives to convince people to remove their names…

Bottom line…

dispute will likely go to Supreme Court…

Topic 4…

Development debate in Florida House…

another initiative grounded in debate over Hometown Democracy ballot proposal should see final vote before session over this week…

House debated development bill that changes governing growth management to allow for more affordable housing ..

the proposal would prohibit citizen initiatives to change comprehensive plans …but require neighborhood meetings before landowners can approach local gov. to propose changes…

senate has not debated yet…

Bottom line…

Hometown Democracy supporters will continue their effort to gain ballot access in 2010

Topic 5…

Democrat Delegates…

DNC delegates will play some role …on May31st….(keep saying that…)

DNC …super delegates will decide no matter if Fl. is in or out…. matters little…

Things to watch…

Brew Blog…Miller Beer blogs…

Business groups rally to oppose education change…

Final vote CSX commission…train s…Orlando…

final version will include turnpike toll increases 25%…leasing Alligator Alley…

Business in the green…website…www.myfloridalicense.com

for complete text…link and receive emails to Lemieux…

Post Division