Democrats slam education commissioner for 'apparent paralysis'
A growing tiff over the federal stimulus money - and why Florida hasn't applied yet for much of the education-related portion - is getting ugly.
"It is with rising alarm that myself and the members of the Senate Democratic Caucus are following the news chronicles of the apparent paralysis gripping the head of your Education Department," Senate Minority Leader Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, writes in a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist today. "We are stunned that with less than a week to go in the 2009 Legislative Session, Commissioner Eric Smith has yet to submit the necessary paperwork to draw down federal stimulus dollars Florida desperately needs and on which our final budget depends."
House Democratic leader Franklin Sands also sent a letter to Gov. Crist today urging quick action:
"While our caucus is pleased by your administration’s embrace of using federal economic recovery monies, we now urge you to remind Florida Education Commissioner Eric Smith to expedite the necessary paperwork so that the Florida Legislature can conclude the people’s business without additional and unnecessary delay."