GOP lawmakers pressed on backing stimulus money
Four Pinellas County legislators found themselves explaining why they, as Republicans, voted to use President Obama's stimulus money this spring at the county GOP's monthly meeting Monday night.
Sen. Dennis Jones and Reps. Jim Frishe, Ed Hooper and Peter Nehr said cuts to education and health care were too drastic without accepting the stimulus money. The Democratic-propelled stimulus plan has provoked outrage on the right -- and the pointed question from one man at the meeting (but applause, too, for the explanations). The budget was propped up by $5.3 billion in stimulus money.
"If we didn't have it, I can tell you we'd still be in Tallahassee today," said Jones, R-Treasure Island. "And we might be up there longer next year."
Hooper, R-Clearwater, noted that no Democrat in the House voted for the budget. "Don't you find that just a little bit disingenuous?" he asked.
David DeCamp, Times Staff Writer