Community Conversations

How does the state budget affect your vote?

MCT

We asked the following question to readers on social media and the Public Insight Network recently: How does the state budget affect your vote? Thanks for all of your responses. Below is a sampling of your comments, some of which were edited for length and clarity. Learn more about the Public Insight Network and comment on previous discussions at MiamiHerald.com/community and select Community Conversations.

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“The budget mess came about because of Gov. Scott and cronies’ refusal to expand Medicaid. This position has cheated the citizens of Florida out of millions of dollars and endangered hundreds of thousands of working poor Floridians. I am a registered Republican but I will vote Democrat until this travesty is resolved. Scott and his cronies should be ashamed.”

Patricia Gill, Bay Harbor Island

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“The budget only solidifies my resolve to speak to Republican voters to try and explain how Florida residents have been abandoned by Florida government. The total disregard of needs, by the Legislature, is more than disheartening. It is devastating.”

Patti Lynn, Tamarac

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“I feel that the budget sets the wrong priorities. The environment and health care should have been given much more money than they received. The vetoes hit infrastructure and education hard. There are too many tax breaks that decrease revenue which in turn lessens the amount of money available for spending on necessary items. I will consider these issues when I vote assuming that I will have a chance to vote for a candidate who shares my views.”

Theresa Lianzi, Hollywood

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“I’m happy that our governor does not engage in frivolous spending. I left California because there isn’t a single pet project that ever gets shot down there so they end up with back breaking taxes and crippling costs of living and doing business there. I don’t want a state income tax here and if that means we don’t spend money on frivolous issues then that can be accomplished. I’ll vote for fiscal conservation every time!”

John Turman, Miami Springs

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“It is a one factor I take into consideration. Everyone wants their pet project. The consideration should be recognition that the legislators are allocating monies that belong to those who paid taxes. They should regard themselves as fiduciaries of the funds. They act with prudence. There must be some accountability. Programs that rely on increased taxes are dangerous. Spending should be based on sound financial principles. I applaud Governor Scott for using restraint on the expansion of Medicaid. All the newspapers look at is the present and give no consideration for the expense that will come later.”

James Salerno, Plantation

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“We live in one of the only states named after its beautiful flora. It is embarrassing that our leaders refuse to follow the intent of an amendment to our constitution approved of by 75 percent of Florida voters that offers minimal overdue protection to our environment. I will not vote for any politician in Florida that does not commit to protecting our environment going forward.”

Brandon Trentler, Miami

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“The legislature and the Governor have completely disregarded the wishes of over 75 percent of Florida voters with respect to Amendment 1. I voted to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars for the acquisition and preservation of environmentally sensitive lands. This budget “steals” these funds to pay for state expenses that should be provided for elsewhere, all so that a tax cut that will reduce my cell phone bill by $20 per year can be touted. The audacity of these elected officials is nothing short of vulgar. The voting record of state legislators on this issue will be my litmus test for both my vote and campaign contributions to districts other than my own.”

Steven Light, Cooper City

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“The Republican brand is tarnished. Rejecting expansion of Medicaid is both fiscally stupid and morally reprehensible. What alternative do they offer? Nothing. Not offering health services to our fellow citizens will cost us more money in the long run and people will suffer and die. Until Republicans change I will not vote for any of them.”

Daniel Nicgorski, North Miami

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“Budget is only a small part of the whole I need to take into consideration when voting.”

Jose Acosta, Homestead

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“...Looking at the veto list it seems that the Governor places a low priority on education and health care for the needy. I will take this into account when I vote. Low taxes are important as are private and community action opposed to government, but the overall direction of societal values are too.”

Alexander Davit, Coral Gables

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“I watch to see that funds are cut to those that deserve to be (FIU), and those that need the funds (JM Hospital Trust). Pork barrel allocations are what we need to be aware of.”

George Abrams, Miami

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“There is only so much money to budget. Better look for ways to increase income. Up the sales tax, state gas tax. I read the 10 pages and think a lot of them are county projects. If the legislative branch wants all this, override his veto, but a lot of it need to be cut in half at least. The country is broke and everyone needs to cut their budgets at least 20 percent.”

Nicholas von Staden, Pompano Beach

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“Too much spending on nonsensical items. Need more infrastructure, environmental, homeless dollars and much less in sports facilities, sports activities, religious foundations per separation of church and state. It definitely will affect my vote. Waste and fraud is ridiculous.”

Sheryl Caruana, Davie

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