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If nothing else, pass the budget

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A South Marion Citizen editorial

The Florida House of Representatives is like the little child who doesn’t get his way on the playground and decides to go home, walking off in a huff.
The House adjourned with little warning on Tuesday, three days before the scheduled end of the regular March-April session. House leaders criticized the State Senate, saying that leaders there refused to negotiate when it came to the budget, the only thing the Legislature is required to do each year.
The major stumbling block is the expansion of Medicaid.
The House’s early exit left unfinished major policy bills that would have rewritten the state’s water policy and decided how to spend money from the Amendment 1 environmental measure, problems that directly affect Marion County and neighboring communities.
The abrupt departure shocked the Senate, which can’t accomplish anything because the House isn’t there to act on legislation.
The decision also stunned a number of young people, including pages, who had planned to spend the entire week in Tallahassee. They were told to have their parents pick them up.
If you wonder why youngsters are cynical about government, here’s a perfect reason why.
Walking away from a problem is not what we elect legislators to do. We expect them to sit down like mature citizens and come together for the good of the people of Florida.
Now the representatives must join the senators in a costly special session to pass the budget, which is required by June 30.
That’s why we submit there should be a proposed constitutional amendment that would go toward ending a lot of this. Here’s how it would read:
“The Florida Legislature shall adopt a budget at its legislative session each year before members can vote on any other legislation.”
In other words, make these petulant little children do what they’re supposed to do, and then if there is time left, they can take up some of the simple bills that now take up valuable time before the budget.
As our representatives return home to the district, citizens should seek them out and ask why they can’t do their jobs. And then maybe we should ask them to resign, which is what happens in the real world when a worker fails at his tasks.