Fresh from a legislative session cut short days early over disagreements on blocking Medicaid expansion, followed by a costly special session where they made their "no" votes official, Florida Republicans in the House are heading out to pick up a new round of cookie cutter legislation from the group who writes it for them: ALEC.
From The Miami Herald:
Conservative legislators from around the country are flocking to San Diego this week for an annual gathering focused on states’ rights, shrinking government and free-market policies.
Among the attendees at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, more commonly called ALEC, are seven members of the Florida House.
Republican Reps. Dennis Baxley of Ocala, Colleen Burton of Lakeland, Neil Combee of Polk County, Mike Hill of Pensacola, Larry Metz of Yalaha, Kathleen Petersof South Pasadena and John Wood of Winter Haven are all attending the conference, according to Wood’s office. Rep. Mike LaRosa, R-St. Cloud, was also authorized by the House to attend but is not in California for the event.]
[Representatives attending the conference have been given permission by the Speaker’s office to use their taxpayer-funded member accounts for travel expenses. However, it’s not clear whether any of them will choose to do so.
Wood, as noted in the story, hasn't decided yet whether to take the trip at his constituents' expense, but claims there's really no "particular agenda" at these conferences, and then goes on to contradict himself by saying this:
“ALEC has been pretty consistently against Medicaid expansion as a way to provide better health outcomes to our population, so I think the position we’ve taken in the Florida House is consistent with their thinking,” Wood said.
Good to know there's no particular agenda beyond consistently doing everything in their power to keep the working poor from gaining access to health care.
Of course, anyone who hasn't been living under a rock knows full well that ALEC has nothing BUT a particular agenda: writing conservative legislation that caters to the Koch brothers ideology, which just happens to serve their numerous industries, makes them richer, and as an added bonus, just plain makes other people suffer.
So after Republicans in Tallahassee wasted taxpayer money cutting the legislative session short due to a temper tantrum over Medicaid, and wasted a heck of a lot more taxpayer money to have a special session because they quit early, and then said no to Medicaid anyway, they've been given permission to go to the ALEC conference on your dime as well. Florida's House Speaker says it's all good!
Because there's nothing like paying your "conservative" lawmakers several times over while someone else does their work for them, as they cut off Medicaid for hard working Floridians who they call slackers.