SEN. BILL NELSON
HE’S NOT STANDING UP FOR US
Sen. Bill Nelson voted with the Republicans to advance this crazy temporary spending bill that the GOP is shoving down our throats.
What is wrong with him?
There needs to be a real spending plan in place, not these temporary measures that keep putting things off until the last minute.
We need someone from Florida in the U.S. Senate who has the guts to stand up for us!
D. Smith, Jacksonville
OPIOID LEGISLATION IN FLORIDA
A BAD IDEA
Proposed legislation in the Florida Legislature to put a three-day limit on prescribed opioids — and a seven-day limit under extremely strict conditions — is a bad idea. Doctors should decide what pain medications their patients need, not legislators.
This “one size fits all” remedy is the very essence of a bad law.
It will require people who have just had surgery to leave their homes and travel to doctors and pharmacies in great pain in order to obtain another prescription.
It will cause those with chronic pain who don’t want surgery — and who want to first try conservative non-surgical treatment —to undergo surgeries that might have been avoided.
It will cause some to opt for expensive radio-frequency ablation treatments in order to escape their pain.
Worst of all, it will subject Floridians to days, weeks and months of intense pain which could and should have been relieved under their doctor’s care.
Who will suffer the most?
Those Floridians who abide by the law.
Normally law-abiding citizens will be driven by pain to become drug-seekers.
Many will be forced to break the law rather than suffer with chronic pain.
In a free society, patients and doctors should be free to decide within the confidential doctor/patient relationship what measures will be taken to relieve pain.
Rod Sullivan, Jacksonville
LETTING RESIDENTS DOWN
Recently, I spoke with a single mother who woke up to frigid temperatures, a cold teenager who needed to get ready for school and a crying baby.
Power on Jacksonville’s Northside was out yet again — and for the second time already this year.
After seeing her JEA bill spike and almost double due to near-record winter temperatures, this resident had to confront what many in that area faced previously on New Year’s Day:
It is not acceptable for a utility company like JEA to consistently have equipment that is malfunctioning, especially during the winter months.
Now JEA may offer discounted rates to new commercial customers making their way to our city.
Yet residents are seeing their utility bills increase without any thought of providing price breaks.
JEA has been offering tips on how to save money on utility bills and to budget during this colder-than-normal winter.
But if we are expected to pay our bills in full — and on time — we have a right to expect JEA to consistently provide residents with quality services.
Angie Nixon, director,
Fix JEA Now,
NEW TAX LAW
TAXPAYERS WILL BENEFIT
There has been a great deal of misinformation about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, particularly regarding the standard deduction.
Under the new law, an individual or a couple may elect to use the standard deduction or itemize their deductions.
For a single tax filer the standard deduction increases to $12,000, and for a married couple the stand deduction increases to $24,000 for joint filers.
If the filer is over 65 or blind, an additional deduction of $1,300 is permitted for an individual — and $2,600 is permitted for joint filers.
Recent data indicate approximately 68 to 70 percent of all taxpayers use the standard deduction.
All of these taxpayers will benefit in terms of paying lower federal income taxes from the change in the standard deduction.
They also benefit from changes in the tax rates and brackets as well.
Jan W. Duggar, Jacksonville
An economist, Duggar is an adjunct professor at the University of North Florida’s Coggin College of Business.