Lawmakers' budget talks break down ov...

Lawmakers' budget talks break down over billion-dollar tax deci...

There are 22 comments on the Orlando Sentinel story from Apr 24, 2009, titled Lawmakers' budget talks break down over billion-dollar tax deci.... In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

Florida lawmakers' budget standoff grinded on Friday, with Senate President Jeff Atwater conceding it would be "very difficult" to bridge big-ticket decisions on higher cigarette taxes, Seminole gambling and spending cuts on time.

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Do your job already

Winter Springs, FL

#1 Apr 24, 2009
It never ceases to amaze me how these men and women campaign on promises of fixing this and that and cutting taxes. Then when they are given a task, they just can't get the job done in the amount of time they are given. I say anything extra for having a special session, they should be required to cover themselves. If they knew, they were not getting paid for anything past May 1st, they would manage to get things done. What a waste!
Angry in Orlando

Winter Park, FL

#2 Apr 24, 2009
Throw these Republican good-for-nothings out of office already!!!
jbr62

Tallahassee, FL

#3 Apr 24, 2009
Every day they can't decide past May 1, they should be charged for the cost of the extension.
Also, I can't believe we have a state run lottery but won't let the Seminoles give us money for Blackjack.
By the way, idiot lawmakers, the federal courts said that the Seminoles can do Blackjack. Your only choice is to take their money or let them keep it!
Margie

Saint Cloud, FL

#4 Apr 24, 2009
Again, they keep talking of either raising taxes or cutting the budgets! There is a third option, to thoroughly review their spending habits and create greater government efficiency! Yes, that is an oxy moron I know. Go to www.LowerTaxesNow.org and see how the group of citizens reviewed the Orlando County Budgets and they found where they could save the taxpayers 1.2 BILLION DOLLARS in one county and that is just through greater government efficiency and elimination of these duplication of services. Also, why doesn't the State sell those 300 plus vacant buildings that sit empty?
Pat

Ormond Beach, FL

#5 Apr 24, 2009
4% pay cut for state workers who haven't got a raise in 3 years....insane. FL is already the lowest paying state for its employees.
Disappointed

El Paso, TX

#6 Apr 24, 2009
The idea of a special session at $40k per day is disappointing. However, the idea that "big-ticket decisions" include higher taxes on cigarette taxes is ridiculous. Why not penalize harshly socially undesirable activities like smoking? Are we afraid that smokers will leave and take their expensive health problems somewhere else?

By how much are the legislators tightening their belt?$40k per day sounds like the wrong direction.
Patrick

Orlando, FL

#7 Apr 24, 2009
Angry in Orlando wrote:
Throw these Republican good-for-nothings out of office already!!!
You mean good for nothing politicians right? We could go round and round about Dems and Republicans BOTH being crooked.

If everyone voted against the incumbent across party lines in all the next elections, these people would listen up for a good long time.

Democrat..Republican..its all B.S. that keeps you running on a treadmill like a hamster. Switch them all out for new people and let em now they will be the next to go. Maybe they won't be so greedy.
Steve

Ormond Beach, FL

#9 Apr 25, 2009
i hope the house leads by example and chops their own salaries by at least 10% before they start hacking away at the little guys working for the state that can barely survive now
Marine Vet

Winter Haven, FL

#10 Apr 25, 2009
If the lawmakers cannot complete everything by the deadline, we should treat them the way contractor's are penalized if they cannot complete a project on time. They should be fined and also be made to pay, out of their own pockets, the cost of the additional session.
Elected Frauds

Los Angeles, CA

#11 Apr 25, 2009
Angry in Orlando wrote:
Throw these Republican good-for-nothings out of office already!!!
Don't limit this to "REPUBLICANS". Throw all of their sorry A***** OUT OF OFFICE ALREADY! I did not vote for one of these idiots. They are nothing but a bunch of FRAUDSTERS. They say one thing and do another.

I think we should sue the sorry A*****. Them the elected would know who they work for!!
thekraut

United States

#12 Apr 25, 2009
Angry in Orlando wrote:
Throw these Republican good-for-nothings out of office already!!!
So true
thekraut

United States

#13 Apr 25, 2009
Patrick wrote:
<quoted text>
You mean good for nothing politicians right? We could go round and round about Dems and Republicans BOTH being crooked.
If everyone voted against the incumbent across party lines in all the next elections, these people would listen up for a good long time.
Democrat..Republican..its all B.S. that keeps you running on a treadmill like a hamster. Switch them all out for new people and let em now they will be the next to go. Maybe they won't be so greedy.
But the rihgt wing republicans are in power so they get the credit for the mess we are in
Farrar

Tallahassee, FL

#14 Apr 25, 2009
Here we are, the 4th richest state in the country, and we have the cheapest state government in the country. Is there waste? Of course there is. Any human enterprise, business, government, school, etc., has waste. But by the costs compared with other states, we are the LEAST wasteful. And I for one am tired of seeing things that would vastly improve our state wiped off the table or stalled because we can't wake up to our fiscal responsibility and continue to expect others to pay for what we get. I don't want to live in the cheapest and worst state in the country. I want something better for me and for my children.
thekraut

United States

#15 Apr 25, 2009
Farrar wrote:
Here we are, the 4th richest state in the country, and we have the cheapest state government in the country. Is there waste? Of course there is. Any human enterprise, business, government, school, etc., has waste. But by the costs compared with other states, we are the LEAST wasteful. And I for one am tired of seeing things that would vastly improve our state wiped off the table or stalled because we can't wake up to our fiscal responsibility and continue to expect others to pay for what we get. I don't want to live in the cheapest and worst state in the country. I want something better for me and for my children.
So true
Deaf in Tallahassee

AOL

#16 Apr 25, 2009
Didn't you HEAR the thousands who were protesting on 4/15? CUT THE DAMN SPENDING! NO MORE TAXES! NO MORE FREE RIDES FOR GOVERNMENT "WORKERS!"

Cut off ALL benefits for the illegal alien trash and there will be plenty of money for schools, roads, etc.
Fire Dean Cannon

Palm Bay, FL

#17 Apr 25, 2009
Dean Cannon carrys water for Tobacco Companies who target poor and elderly .When Major Tobacco Companies reached a settlement with the State of Florida years ago a yearly future payment schedule was set up. The existence of "Non participating manufacturers" created a situation where there was a variable added to the calculation process that allowed for every 1% reduction in market share or volume decrease, participating companies that paid out billions up front, could reduce the amount of the scheduled yearly payments to the State by 3%. This was negotiated because the annual payments were to offset FUTURE healthcare and supplement education.
In the years since the agreement was reached non participating manufacturers have grown their market share 20% primarily by targeting lower income and elderly smokers. These are the smokers less likely to have private insurance and need taxpayer support. The amount of money the state now receives from participating manufacturers is reduced by several hundred million dollars. The Tobacco tax increase to $1 more per pack will not close this loophole or recover future lost revenues. Non participating manufacturers like Dosal Tobacco Company of Miami area will continue to be exempt from paying their fair share and the burden will be passed to all taxpayers. This drains our resources to fund education and health care.
Republicans have received millions in donations and other perks from these non participating manufacturers over the years since the settlement was reached . A few thousand in campaign donations each year could cost us several hundred million in revenues. This makes Ray Sansoms indiscretion of wasting 6 million seem insignificant by comparison. Close the loophole and make all tobacco companies pay their fair share to cover health care and education costs. THe Miami Herald reports Rep. Larry Cretful has assurances fromWinter Park Rep. Dean Cannon that he will personally protect the Tobacco Companies from paying the hundreds on millions in annual payments.
FloridaFuture

Tallahassee, FL

#18 Apr 25, 2009
Deaf in Tallahassee wrote:
Didn't you HEAR the thousands who were protesting on 4/15? CUT THE DAMN SPENDING! NO MORE TAXES! NO MORE FREE RIDES FOR GOVERNMENT "WORKERS!"
Cut off ALL benefits for the illegal alien trash and there will be plenty of money for schools, roads, etc.
Almost all of those I talked with were upset about the FEDERAL spending, not the state spending.
But again it comes down to one issue: you want to live in the cheapest state in the country, even if it means that companies with above minimum wage jobs don't want to come, we have a generation of the most poorly-educated citizens in the country, and our economy keeps dropping. That's your decision.
But it's not mine. I want to live in a state that thinks ahead for more than this very minute, and just like a business, determines that sometimes you have to invest in order to reap rewards. I would like to see a state that is competitive for companies with high-paying jobs, and that means funding things like education. Until I moved to Florida, I never once voted for a tax increase. Watching this state go steadily downhill has been enough to change my mind. I will willingly support any new tax that zeroes in on paying for such things as education.

“Clayton Bigsby”

Since: Sep 08

Wexler School for the Blind,

#19 Apr 25, 2009
FloridaFuture wrote:
<quoted text>
Almost all of those I talked with were upset about the FEDERAL spending, not the state spending.
But again it comes down to one issue: you want to live in the cheapest state in the country, even if it means that companies with above minimum wage jobs don't want to come, we have a generation of the most poorly-educated citizens in the country, and our economy keeps dropping. That's your decision.
But it's not mine. I want to live in a state that thinks ahead for more than this very minute, and just like a business, determines that sometimes you have to invest in order to reap rewards. I would like to see a state that is competitive for companies with high-paying jobs, and that means funding things like education. Until I moved to Florida, I never once voted for a tax increase. Watching this state go steadily downhill has been enough to change my mind. I will willingly support any new tax that zeroes in on paying for such things as education.
We cant balance the budget, whah whah what - Very small list of the extensive DROP program recipients here in Central FLorida - Lawson Lamar State Attorney, Orange/Osceola Lump sum:$514,928 Monthly retirement:$9,936 Annual salary:$153,140 Randy Means Director of Investigations/Adm inistration for Lamar Lump sum:$495,013 Monthly retirement:$8,091 Annual salary:$151,007 William Vose Chief Assistant State Attorney for Lamar Lump sum:$438,356 Monthly retirement:$7,331 Annual salary:$152,979 Norm Wolfinger State Attorney, Brevard/Seminole Lump sum:$447,835 Monthly retirement:$7,166 Annual salary:$153,140 Emogene Stegall Lake County Supervisor of Elections Lump sum:$326,943 Monthly retirement:$7,153 Annual salary:$111,675 Earl K. Wood Orange County Tax Collector Lump sum:$358,976 Monthly retirement:$7,260 Annual salary:$152,288 Bill Vogel Seminole County Schools Superintendent Lump sum:$370,162 Monthly retirement:$6,118 Annual salary:$176,583 Margaret Smith Volusia County Schools Superintendent Lump sum:$20,696 Monthly retirement:$1,477 Annual salary:$175,168 Cindy Coto Seminole County Manager Lump sum:$59,081 Monthly retirement:$7,041 Annual salary:$177,212 George Rodon Chief of Staff for Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty Lump sum:$345,808 Monthly retirement:$5,434 Annual salary:$140,539 Eduardo J. Padron President, Miami Dade College Lump sum:$893,286 Monthly retirement:$15,071 Annual salary:$335,240 Source: Florida Department of Management Services
thekraut

United States

#20 Apr 25, 2009
Deaf in Tallahassee wrote:
Didn't you HEAR the thousands who were protesting on 4/15? CUT THE DAMN SPENDING! NO MORE TAXES! NO MORE FREE RIDES FOR GOVERNMENT "WORKERS!"
Cut off ALL benefits for the illegal alien trash and there will be plenty of money for schools, roads, etc.
Look a tea bagger speaks no more taxes he must be making over 250,000 because the middle class is getting a tax break unlike the republicans who only give the top 5 a tax break. I guess ignorance is bliss to the rush crowd

“Clayton Bigsby”

Since: Sep 08

Wexler School for the Blind,

#21 Apr 25, 2009
thekraut wrote:
<quoted text>Look a tea bagger speaks no more taxes he must be making over 250,000 because the middle class is getting a tax break unlike the republicans who only give the top 5 a tax break. I guess ignorance is bliss to the rush crowd
40% of the population PAYS NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX WHATSOEVER with EIC, child tax credits, interest and property tax deductions.

How about everyone paying something into the system that USES IT?

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