Debt Limit Law Not Balanced, Provides No Path to Stability | Print |  E-mail
August 2011

FCFEP Chair Nelson Easterling writes that the debt ceiling agreement doesn’t provide a path to economic stability.

Furthermore, he says, the agreement is not balanced, “ since the people who created the economic downturn do not have to suffer at all.”

What is needed is a true balanced approach--not a further dismantling of the safety net.

> Read Dr. Easterling’s view of the debt agreement here and here.

Behind Unemployment Numbers: Job Formation Continues Slowly | Print |  E-mail
June 2011

The number of jobs in Florida increased modestly in May, a continuation of a trend that began late in 2010. But the state has a long way to go before it regains the 900,000-plus jobs it lost due to the Great Recession.

Barring catastrophe, Florida will gain hundreds of thousands of jobs in coming years through natural growth as the economy strengthens.

A governor's role in job creation is limited, despite claims of responsibility for achieving Florida's modest job growth so far this year.

Although the Governor and legislative leaders insist that "government doesn't create jobs," they spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars each year, much of it going to large profitable corporations, hoping to create jobs.

Many economists doubt that incentives for companies in the hopes of creating jobs actually work.  The "net effect is to starve government of the resources it needs to finance the services it should be providing."

> Read the report.

New Medicaid Law Imperils Patients to Accommodate Plans | Print |  E-mail
June 2011

Although Florida has spent the last five years struggling with a flawed Medicaid managed care experiment that could not be expanded beyond a few counties, the passage of House Bills 7107 and 7109 during the 2011 legislative session nevertheless accelerates and intensifies the statewide privatization of Florida Medicaid.

The final legislation, while not as extreme as the proposal offered by the Florida Senate, imperils the health care of the three million Floridians who rely on Medicaid.

> Read the report.

2011 Legislative Session A Far Cry from the Golden Era | Print |  E-mail
June 2011

By Dr. Nelson Easterling, FCFEP Chair

The 2011 Legislative session is over.  As a citizen and an outside observer, I can only say that it may have been the worst I have witnessed.  The negative effects have the potential of creating a disaster for this state of epic proportions.

Many questions were created by this session.  The primary question I think we need to address is how it was allowed to happen.  Sure, we know that money had a lot to do with the elections of last fall.  And we know that the same money has had enormous influence over the issues and votes.  It is easy to blame the politicians and the special interests.  But what of our responsibility?  What were we doing?  What could we have done better?

> Read the report.

Florida in Critical Condition After Legislative Session | Print |  E-mail
June 2011

Already suffering from low rankings among the states on many assessments of well-being, Floridians now face harsh impacts from what is broadly considered the most radical legislative session in modern state history.

Generations of hard-won progressive policies were overturned, leading former Governor Bob Graham to lament legislative actions that “erase decades of investment and progress.”

The assault left almost no progressive cause unscathed.  More of the same is coming in the 2012 legislative session, the Governor and legislative leaders say.

> Read the report.

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