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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sen. Lawson vs. Sen Fasano



S011_2 S006_2 Sen. Mike Fasano (left) critcized Democrats for saying they'd vote against the budget without offering any alternative revenue streams. Democratic Sen. Jeremy Ring and Sen. Ted Deutch had made speeches saying they didn't want to vote for a budget that didn't go after special interest sales tax exemptions. Fasano pointed out that Democrats have not offered bills to attack such sales tax loopholes in past sessions.

UPDATE: Fasano called the amendment Sen. Al Lawson offered "irresponsible" (he did NOT call Sen. Lawson irresponsible) for taking money out of transportation, among other areas.  Sen Al Lawson defended himself. Here's the speech:

"I really don't appreciate the fact when you have a member who is supposed to be a leader in the state calling myself and other irresponsible and so forth. I think it's irresponsible for him to call me irresponsible."

"The sign of a good member. . .Now members I can accept today what happened to us, and I can move on. But I don't have to sit back and take personal attacks on me when I haven't made personal attacks on them. I could probably say a whole lot more, but I'm not going to say it. But I would encourage you in this process to stick with what we have here. Vote on what we have here. And let your vote count the way you want to. I'm not looking for headlines in the newspaper on $491 million dollars or $80 million dollars. I'm just telling you that Joe Lunchbucket depends on someone to stand up and fight for them. I fight for state workers and I fight for the poorest in the state and I will continue to fight for them, no matter what it takes.

And I apologize to some of you, if I offended some of you, like I did Sen. Fasano by issuing an amendment. I have seen amendments for 24 years of members....members who had amendments for something they believed in, I didn't get up and attack them. It's the wrong thing to do. If anything I think he ought to apologize. If he doesn't apologize, I'll always know where he's coming from. I'm a big enough man to take it. But I'm not here to attack anybody. I'm here to try to do right for the weakest and poorest in the state when we have to make budget cuts."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:18am]


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