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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tea Party wants Scott to veto bills for Polytech, Medicaid, HART-PSTA study



Gov. Rick Scott should stick to his message of limited government and fiscal restraint and veto bills that would create a 12th university, adjust state and local Medicaid funding and call for a $100,000 study into merging the Hillsborough and Pinellas transit systems -- at least, according to the Tea Party.

The Tea Party Network, made up of 86 local groups, weighed in on the legislation in a letter to Scott on Monday.

Their message on the new Florida Polytechnic, a pet project of Senate budget chairman JD Alexander, almost echoes what Scott said throughout session: that he wasn't sure Florida could afford a 12th university.

"Our higher education schools are already under funding pressure, and splitting the pot further is counterproductive to the quality of the institutions," the Tea Party letter says. 

Here's the full letter: 

“Dear Governor Scott;

We, the Tea Party Network, an affiliation of 86 Tea Party groups in the State of Florida, request your veto on a few specific bills that violate our principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility.

Energy Bill 7117 – We do not believe the government should be determining the marketplace for renewable energy projects. This bill extends $16 million in renewable energy tax credits, creates separate rules for electric vehicle recharging stations, and mandates studies of the resources available to produce biomass energy.

HB 599 – The bill requires a mandated $100,000 study to merge Hillsborough and Pinellas transit agencies. The State of Florida should not be dictating Counties what they should and should not do for solving local transit issues.

Medicaid Bill 5301 – This is clearly an unfunded mandate to the Counties. The State should either find the funding sources or reduce the service burden to the Counties.

Polytechnic University Bill SB 1994 – Our higher education schools are already under funding pressures, and splitting the pot further is counterproductive to the quality of the institutions. Further, private Universities are filling the marketplace to service student needs, and we should encourage private sector growth.

We also request your signing of the following bill:

House Bill 1263 – This bill repeals 2010’s SB 550, the costly and burdensome statewide septic system inspection mandate forced on 2.5 million residents in the State of Florida. It also contains a fair and affordable new septic inspection program that does not impose any cost on the state.

Finally, we are asking that you approve the budget line item that funds the completion of the DOH Nitrogen Reduction Strategy Study. This study is nearly completed, and results will ensure that septic system owners throughout the state can keep their conventional systems, but have the science and the products necessary to further protect our water resources. Please approve the funding for the completion of the study.

We thank you for your service to our State, and hope you will thoughtfully consider and act upon our requests.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:23am]


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