Time to send Florida lawmakers our priorities with session opening

March 1, 2014 

The Florida Legislature. FILE PHOTO / MIAMI HERALD PHOTO.

The regular session of the Florida Legislature begins this year on Tuesday, March 4. What would YOU like our representatives to accomplish in this session?

In a democracy, we are the government and our representatives in Tallahassee are there to legislate for us.

Here is my "wish list" for this legislative session. I believe that a majority of Floridians would agree on most of these issues.

First, I would like to see the Legislature pass the Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act. This would provide healthcare to approximately 1 million of our less fortunate citizens who otherwise will have to go without. Some will even die without expansion.

The federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost to expand Medicaid for the first few years and 90 percent thereafter. Without Medicaid expansion, Florida's hospitals will become overburdened and unable to cover the cost of indigent care.

Second, I would like to see the Legislature follow the lead taken by other states and increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. This would decrease the number of Floridians who are dependent on food stamps or other government programs. It would not increase taxes.

We can rest assured that workers on minimum wage would spend every penny of their increase, putting all of it directly into Florida's economy.

Third, I would like to see the Legislature take the lead, and be the first state, to repeal the "stand your ground" law. We all have seen the injustice that it has caused. Advocating that one should avoid a public confrontation will never diminish ones ability to defend himself or his family.

If you are in agreement on any of these issues, now is the time to contact your representatives at: www.leg.state.fl.us.

James Frazier

Bradenton

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