A power grab like no other
Shades of Donald Trump. The president’s various sharp attacks on the nation’s judicial branch of government for issuing decisions he didn’t like — was he hoping to influence court rulings that bend to his will? — is a pointed reminder that the Constitution of the United States divides the federal government into three branches to ensure a central government in which no individual or group gains too much control.
Those branches are the Legislative (Congress makes laws ); the Executive (president, vice president, and Cabinet carries out laws); and the Judicial (Supreme Court and other courts evaluates laws). Each branch of government can change acts of the other branches.
In Trump’s world, the executive branch apparently reigns supreme.
This separation of powers model extends to the states as well. State branches each have separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so the powers of one branch don’t conflict with the powers held by the other branches.
Some in Florida’s Legislature apparently don’t like that arrangement — this coming after the Florida Supreme Court struck down various legislative decisions. So state Rep. Julio Gonzalez, R-Venice, filed House Joint Resolution 121, a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the Legislature, within a period of five years, to override court decisions that find legislative actions unconstitutional. Florida’s voters would have to approve.
Not quite satisfied with turning the tables on the state judiciary, Gonzalez also filed an accompanying communication to Congress on Dec. 27 asking that a similar proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution be approved. He’ll find an ally in President Trump.
Gonzalez argues that if his amendment were enacted by voters, it “would curtail the tendency of activist judges to manipulate the law to suit their political views and agendas.” Yes, instead activist lawmakers would be able to supersede the judiciary to suit their political views and agendas. Checks and balances would be tossed aside.
In keeping the “Rule of Law,” judges are sworn to rule in an unbiased and thoughtful manner. That doesn’t apply to partisan legislators.
Jeers to this attempt at a power grab.
So young, so smart about money
Being a financial wizard early in life holds great career potential. Or simply a judicious adult.
Two of the brightest youngsters here sure can be called wizards in personal finance after being selected in the top five out of 71,000 student competitors nationwide in the H&R Block Budget Challenge.
Mary “Trey” Hawkins and Alexa Brutus finished fourth and fifth respectively, each winning a $20,000 scholarship. Both are freshmen — high school freshmen! — at State College of Florida’s Collegiate School. They applied the principals of budgeting and saving in the 10-week simulation through H&R Block, no simple task, economics and finance instructor Deane Western told Herald education reporter Ryan McKinnon.
The competitors make payments on bill, including apartment rent and insurance policies while also managing a credit card. “This class is worth millions in the long run,” Western observed.
Western must be a financial wizard, too, since five of his students finished among the top 22 and won scholarships last year.
Cheers to Trey and Alexa. And Western, too, for such success with his students.
Quote of the Week
“I don’t like mining. The fact of the matter is they have property rights. Mining is a specific listed property right.”
— Commission Chairwoman Betsy Benac, in voting in favor of Mosaic’s proposal to expand mining in Manatee County. Despite the majority of public comments voiced in opposition during the hearings, the commission, in two 5-2 votes, approved both a request to rezone 3,596 acres of Mosaic’s Wingate East property for mining, as well as the Master Mining Plan.
The mining at Wingate East will be completed around 2034, with reclamation ending around 2042.