“For thoseconcerned about the futureof many of Florida’s critical public services, it should be understood that the outcome of this legislative session is a positive one.Not expanding Medicaid under Obamacarewas warranted. First, it would not have helped those it purported to serve.Simply put, this entitlement program does not guarantee access to quality care. Moreover, the future of Medicaid in Florida is directly connectedto the long-term viability of the state’s economy. Medicaid is a flawed program, expanding it to inevitably consume more of the state budget would have hurt other priorities such as education, transportation and public safety. Recognizing that reforms and innovative ideas exist to improve Florida’s healthcare system, Florida’s leaders ultimately made the right decision to turn down the unreliable bribe from the federal government. Now, we can move forward with a true Florida solution to improving access to affordable, quality healthcare.”

– Dr. Bob McClure, President and CEO, The James Madison Institute

Although not everything on The James Madison Institute’s policy priorities list was crossed off, several developments during the special session should be commended:

J. Stanley Marshall Center for Educational Options:

“Expanding Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts (PLSAs) for special needs students will no doubt prove to be a significant improvement in the ability for parents to find the best educational options to serve the unique needs, interests, abilities, and learning styles of their children.We would like to see this exceptional model extended to all Florida students.They would certainly benefit from these highly flexible accounts that can be used for a wide array of resources (tuition, books, tutoring, therapies, etc.). It is the ultimate move to provide all Sunshine State students with the most effective educational options that will ensure their future success.”

– William Mattox, Director, J. Stanley Marshall Center for Educational Options at The James Madison Institute

Center for Property Rights:

“Florida lawmakers should be commended for their wise and forward-looking priorities reflected in their environmental appropriations.They recognized the Everglades for what it is: a state treasure worthy of additional funds ($81.8 million) to enable critical restoration projects to move forward. Also, considering more than 28 percent of Florida land is already in conservation, $17.4 million apportioned for Florida Forever is an appropriate allocation.The legislature also showed tremendous financial restraint by not bonding money and potentially sending our state into debt.Some from the more extreme side of environmentalism will criticize these allocations because they insisted land buying should be the priority. However, Floridians who voted for Amendment 1 should be pleased that positive steps toward the Amendment's intended purpose will be taken.Legislators ha ve honored the will of the people and negotiated effectively for the good of our state.”

– Dan Peterson, Director, Orlando-based Center for Property Rights at The James Madison Institute

Center for Economic Prosperity:

“With the legislature’s passage of a tax relief package of $430 million for 2015-2016, the budget of nearly every Floridian will see a positive impact, specifically from the reduction of the communications services tax.Giving people their hard-earned dollars back is truly the way to continue to grow Florida’s economy, but most importantly Floridians deserve to spend their money how they see fit. Government shouldn’t make the choice for them.”

– Sal Nuzzo, Vice President for Policy and Director, Center for Economic Prosperity at The James Madison Institute

We will be sending out a complete breakdown of The James Madison Institute's Policy Priorities and our efforts soon. Thank you for your continued support!