Letter: Update from Senator Thrasher
John E Thrasher
St Augustine, FL
We had a busy second week of the 2013 Legislative Session.
With the resignation of Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll this week, the Legislature is resolved to make sweeping changes to effectively ban Internet cafes in the State of Florida.
While I am saddened by the news of Jennifer Carroll’s resignation, as I considered her a friend and colleague for a number of years, it only serves to heighten my resolve for the need to ban this type of gaming facility in the State of Florida.
I filed a bill this year to place a moratorium on Internet cafes, as it is my belief that until the state determines how best to regulate the proliferation of gaming sites, we should not continue to allow new facilities to open for business.
The legislation I sponsored will be taken up tomorrow, and I have rewritten my proposal to require a ban on all existing facilities in the state, effectively closing them down. The House took up a similar proposal Friday.
The Florida Senate Select Committee on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) released their committee recommendation on Medicaid expansion, and decided that Washington’s solution to accommodate the uninsured in our nation is not the right choice for Florida’s families, businesses and taxpayers.
The Senate, along with the House of Representatives, will continue to work together to find the best possible option for our state and explore private insurance options as a replacement for traditional Medicaid instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all government-run health care program.
The Committee on Ethics and Elections gathered on Monday to continue public hearings on executive appointments to offices, and listened to bill presentations that included topics, such as campaign finance, paper reduction and legislative lobbying.
During the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, we received an estimating conferences update and participated in a budget work session. Also, we debated Senate Bill 318, which tightens background checks for all people working on school grounds, even if on a temporary basis; and Senate Bill 1076, which provides extra funds to universities who offer degrees in high-demand fields.
On Thursday, the Senate Regulated Industries Committee met to review and discuss bills on the agenda. We examined bills regarding malt beverages, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and premise inspections, among others.
I invite you to continue to stay informed by visiting my Florida Senate webpage at www.flsenate.gov/Senators/s6. Also, if you have a constituent question or concern, or you would like to request an appointment regarding a legislative issue, please contact my district office at (904) 287-4222; or during the 2013 Legislative Session, please contact my legislative office in Tallahassee at (850) 487-5006.
Thank you for your support.