When discussing the work of the Legislature, there’s a quote that is used often although who said it first and the exact wording are in dispute.
But surely you have heard a version of this: “Laws are like sausages; it is better not to see them being made.”
That’s an insult to sausages.
What comes out of the sausage factory is at least good to eat.
There’s not much better than a grilled brat and a cold beer at the ballpark on a summer evening.
What comes out of the Legislature, however, is bad for Florida and should leave us all with sour stomachs.
The special legislative session last week offered a prime example of how Tallahassee has fallen off the track.
Deals were cut in secret between Gov. Rick Scott and the so-called leadership of the House and Senate. Then there were disagreements over what those deals were with insults flying back and forth.
By the way, those representatives and senators you elected to represent you in Tallahassee were superfluous. They should have just stayed home rather than eating up taxpayer money to push a button as instructed.
Scott, House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron were the only players who mattered.
Are you comfortable with just three people having the power to spend millions of your tax dollars on their pet projects? I’m not.
It really wasn’t a bright spot, but the Legislature did work on a bill during the special session to finally set the rules for implementing the medical marijuana amendment that voters had approved.
They puffed up their chests and intoned that they were fulfilling the will of the people.
But Scott and the legislators completely ignored — yet once again — the voters who overwhelming approved Amendment 1 in 2014.
When Scott vetoed more than $400 million in spending included in the budget the Legislature passed during the regular session, that money was up for grabs during the special session.
The Legislature’s budget, which Scott signed, included zero dollars for conservation land purchases through the Florida Forever program.
That glaring poke in the eye to voters could have been cured by taking a good chunk of that $400 million Scott vetoed and putting it into Florida Forever and other conservation programs as Amendment 1 ordered.
That’s what people and groups from throughout Florida, including the Florida Conservation Coalition, had urged Scott and the Legislature to do.
But there was no room for the people of Florida at the horse-trading table occupied by Scott, Corcoran and Negron.
That money instead went to things like VISIT Florida and what’s being called an economic development slush fund that will be distributed by Scott with little transparency, two of the governor’s priorities.
Donald Trump went to Washington promising to “drain the swamp.”
Scott, the self-described anti-politician, made a similar pledge when he took over the Governor’s Office six long, painful years ago.
The infidels targeted by Scott then simply ran out the back door of the Capitol and joined those standing at the front door with pitchforks in hand, barely bothering to put on a disguise.
Nothing changed. It’s only gotten worse. The same thing is happening in Washington today. Just check out the lobbying corps there.
In Tallahassee, it’s about the power of a few and the incredible amount of money being spent to buy votes and control the state’s agenda.
It’s not about the people of Florida.
Are you OK with that? I’m not.
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