Editorial

Health care - work less to get more coverage


Unless you spend a lot of time on federal lands or you are directly impacted by water rights in California, this week’s legislative activity probably isn’t going to be all that interesting to you.

So, in lieu of rehashing all of the technical amendments and details of the most recent floor activity, I wanted to try to use this week’s letter to explain the stir caused by the latest economic projections related to the President’s healthcare law.

Inverness War Memorial slated for relocation


Citrus County veterans and prominent community leaders are partnering in an effort to relocate the war memorial in Inverness.

On Dec. 3, 2013, local attorney Clark Stillwell addressed the Inverness City Council on behalf of the Citrus County Historical Society, representatives of the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and representatives of the City of Inverness.

Location: 

The federal budget, Part Deux


Quick follow up from last week …  As most of you probably know, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Ryan-Murray budget agreement before we broke for the holidays.

I voted “no” on the budget and I laid out my reasons for doing so in that week’s  Situation Report (SITREP).

For those of you who missed that installment of the SITREP, I voted against the budget deal because it dramatically cut the pensions of all retired military men and women under the age of 62.

Dems, GOP still far apart on spending, taxes


On Thursday, Dec. 12, the House passed a bipartisan budget deal worked out by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and his Senate counterpart, Senator Patty Murray. The deal passed overwhelmingly, with huge support from both sides. 

I voted against it. It wasn’t an easy decision.

Congress scrambles to produce budget document


This week was the second to last week of the legislative year. And since Congress doesn’t do anything until the very last minute, that means it was a very quiet week.

On Tuesday, however, a mad scramble to finish up the nation’s business is likely to begin. The Farm Bill remains outstanding, as does the National Defense Authorization and some other fairly large ticket items.

ObamaCare: This is just the beginning


As you probably know by now, the House has passed a bipartisan bill to try to fix the “if you like your healthcare, you can keep it” problem.

It’s not a perfect solution.

This bill will only buy another year for people who like their current coverage, but it’s better than the current situation. As you’ve probably heard, in the state of California alone, more than a million people have been notified that their health insurance is being cancelled.

A time to honor, remember veterans


First off, I want to wish all of the veterans out there a very happy Veterans Day.

As many of you know, our district is home to more than 100,000 veterans and that makes today a very special day in our area. If you see a veteran today, please let them know we’re thinking about them and we appreciate everything they have done for this country.

Veterans legislation makes rounds in Congress


First, I wanted to bring you up to speed on some veterans-related legislation that was considered in the House this week.

2013 Legislative Session ends


The Legislative Session has come to an end!

I was proud of our work this Session, from passing bills which protected veterans’ organizations from fraud, benefitted Florida’s environment, protected our Supreme Court Justices, and so much more.

I am very excited by the inclusion of $10 million for springs protection in the budget. Senator Negron’s recognition of my request will have a direct impact on Florida’s springs, and allow the state to protect our springs and preserve them for future generations.

Work continues in Tallahassee


Greetings from Tallahassee!

Week 7 of the 2013 Legislative Session has come to an
end!

I was proud to pass several of my bills through their respective committees of reference and the floor this week.

I look forward to continuing to work on my bills and working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives as we continue to work on the budget in the coming weeks.

First and foremost - this week, I was pleased on Wednesday to have three bills on the floor of the Senate.

Where there's a fire, there's smoke

Getting a clear picture of the events that led up to the fire in the Citrus County landfill overnight on Saturday is a bit like trying to see through the smoke itself.

What the public has been told is that "a trash fire", ignited by someone (but we don't know who), eventually grew, apparently unnoticed, until it licked the side of the landfill and ate into the landfill's liner in the Phase III area.

Missing water across Florida points toward conservation

Whether it be farmers desperate to save their crops from winter's cold breath, or sloppy water management by Florida's counties, the future of the state's water supply can be summed up in two words: "Water conservation."

The appearance of sinkholes in our neighboring counties from watering by farmers have unearthed a little-acknowledged fact - water supplies are shrinking. When they do, the most stark outward testament is the appearance of holes in the earth.

The curious case of economic development

The Citrus County Commission's handling of economic development is a curious case of government not knowing what it wants, but knowing that what it sees it doesn't like.

The county commission did not renew the contract with the Economic Development Council, and commissioners laid out a host of reasons why they didn't want to continue with the EDC as it was then configured.

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