Straight Talk - No Bull!We live in a democratic republic, which means voters should be an active part of the governing process. Not only do voters choose people to represent them, but they also should be choosing representatives who will listen to them when it comes time to pass or reject proposed legislation. That is how democracy works. Too often, especially at the state legislative level, we choose a representative who says all the right things while campaigning but, once elected, disappears from sight until the next election cycle. Our representatives offer voters no information on what's happening in chambers, or what legislation has even been proposed for the legislative session. And those voters who try to keep track of what's going on during a legislative session find little more than a mountain of confusion.
I believe in:
▪ Being responsible to the people who elect me;
▪ Maintaining open communication with the people so they know what's going on and I know how they feel;
▪ Making sure my communication is honest and without any hidden personal bias;
▪ Ensuring that voters understand all of the facts surrounding a piece of legislation; and
▪ Ensuring that I understand why voters want me to take a particular stance on a piece of legislation.
I believe too many proposed bills do not specifically address a problem; they address only a symptom of a larger problem. Many times, passage of such legislation does nothing to change the situation. The time involved in filing, processing, hearing, and passing those bills, therefore, is a waste of taxpayer money. I will neither propose nor vote for any legislation of this type.I believe our method of legislating is not designed for transparency and accountability to voters. This year's session began with 3,578 bills introduced and ended with 210 passed and sent on to the governor. The session is so short that many of these bills never received a hearing. This happens every year. The bills that do make it to floor votes are announced with only 24 to 48 hours' time for voter input. I will work to change this and promise to let voters know about bills coming up for a vote as soon as they're scheduled.
I believe the good of the community should outweigh any benefits going to an industry or business. The families that make up our communities are our future. Without them, we would have no business or industry. When the choice is clearly one over the other, I will put community first. If the choice can be crafted into something that benefits both equally, I will work diligently to make it happen.
Finally I believe we, as a state, are facing some very tough choices now and over the next several years due to the effects of the pandemic and its consequent toll on our economy. It will be up to legislators to get creative in initiating ways to bring our economy back up to full speed without sacrificing the future of the people. Yes, Florida is a balanced budget state, but I do not believe in putting profits over people's lives.
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