No One Cares About Florida’s Election Problems

11 Nov

The Florida elections are still not over – but Republican challenger, Mitt Romney has conceded – due to provisional ballots and overseas military voters. All Governor Rick Scott could offer was a “review“. But, that’s just a small part of the “humiliation”, as Jon Stewart called it, that was 2012 for Florida, even considering Allen West. The ugliest and most politicized parts of Florida’s 2012 ballot involved eleven constitutional amendments only eight of which failed.

An unprecedented push by Florida Republicans to allow more state funding of religious programs, restrict abortion rights, ban the required purchase of health insurance and oust three Democrat-appointed Supreme Court justices was headed for failure Tuesday.

Forced to wade through a historically long ballot with 11 legislatively drawn constitutional amendments, voters defeated an effort to give beefier property-tax breaks to new- and second-home owners and businesses. Three amendments providing property tax breaks to poor seniors, veterans and their spouses had narrowly exceeded the 60 percent necessary for passage.

All told, the amendments drew more than $7 million in ad campaigns as liberals and conservatives slugged it out over social causes and tax questions normally settled in legislative sessions.

Skeptics’ Guide to Government has more on the amendments – and other state ballot initiatives. I guess I can again consider Florida as a suitable place to live when I return to the United States.

Florida avoided previous problems with antiquated paper ballots and hanging chads, but controversies abound that are just too long to quote And, Governor Rick Scott’s tuition plan is coming up for discussion.

A task force appointed by Gov. Rick Scott is set to propose that tuition on some college students be frozen — but that the rates for others go up if the Legislature isn’t prepared to adequately fund the state’s system of higher education.

The task force formally approved the report Tuesday, though the final draft is still being hammered out. Dale Brill, the chairman of the blue-ribbon panel that Scott put together, gave an overview of the report to the Board of Governors during a meeting Wednesday at New College in Sarasota.

Perhaps the most radical departure from the current system embodied by the report is the notion that students should face different tuition rates based in part on their degree programs — with those programs that the state deems most important being shielded from any increases for three years or until unemployment dropped below a set level.

“The Legislature and Board of Governors should move away from uniform tuition rates among the universities and among all degree programs within a university,” said a draft copy of the report on the task force’s website.

Hart Williams is hopeful – see you, brother, in 2014 for the showdown against Rick Scott.

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