Although the official legislative session doesn't commence until tomorrow, the two committees in the State and House that are studying Medicaid expansion meet this morning and have the ability to make recommendations for their entire caucuses.
Last week I spoke with Pasco County GOP Rep. Mike Fasano, who is one of the few enthusiastic Republicans in the House to verbalize his support for Rick Scott's Medicaid decision. I also spoke with a couple of other local Republicans who said they maintain open minds, though their comments indicate they don't think much of "Obamacare."
State Senate President Don Gaetz said the Legislature "just can't say 'no, no, hell no.'" But what will Senate members come up with if their leadership suggests that they shouldn't support the expansion? It should also be noted that Gov. Scott won a deal from the Obama administration to privatize Medicaid, and Florida still resists what has been termed the law's biggest innovation, the health insurance exchanges.
Yesterday, while network and cable news repeated the arguments by lawmakers and Obama administration officials about sequestration, Fox News Sunday scored a coup with Mitt Romney who figuratively let his hair down in his first interview since he his election loss in November. The upshot? Life, indeed, goes on for the for former candidate, who still lives in his oceanfront La Jolla estate and lives life with an estimated $250 million in his respective checking and savings accounts.
Though most incumbents get re-elected in Tallahassee, one exception occurred in Hillsborough County last fall when Democrat Mark Danish upset Rep. Shawn Harrison. Danish told CL's Michael Newberger what he hopes to accomplish as the new session begins.
And CL's Chrystal Tracker attended a conference on sustainability on Friday at HCC's Ybor campus.