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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

John Romano column: Grading the Florida Legislature, needs improvement

Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano spent the last week of session in Tallahassee and today's column is a report card on Florida lawmakers. An excerpt:

Education — Pay raises for teachers! Per-pupil funding bump! Oversight for charter schools! At first glance, you might think education was a priority for this Legislature. But then you remember the political sham known as parent trigger was one vote away fromEducation — Pay raises for teachers! Per-pupil funding bump! Oversight for charter schools! At first glance, you might think education was a priority for this Legislature. But then you remember the political sham known as parent trigger was one vote away from being passed, and you realize our post office is still in Hooterville. Final evaluation: Effective.

Consumers — Your electric bill remains higher than necessary because lap dogs in the House had their tummies scratched with campaign coins from utility companies. On the other hand, the House kept the Senate from including rate hikes in an overhaul of Citizens Property Insurance. Final evaluation: Barely effective.

Campaign finance reform — Lawmakers cracked down on one type of political committee, but basically empowered another. They also generously raised contribution limits for candidates. And this was supposed to be a victory for House Speaker Will Weatherford? It feels like a batter celebrating a pop-up because he didn't strike out. Final evaluation: Unsatisfactory.

[Last modified: Sunday, May 5, 2013 5:42pm]

    

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