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From Rep. Cynthia Stafford: Budget/Legislative Snapshots – 2011 Session

If you've not done so already, check out the newsletter of Dist. 109 State Rep. Cynthia Stafford. It's one of the best I've seen as far as content, layout and overall presentation.

Here are highlights of the last Legislative Session that essentially frame our current predicament as a state and community. You can find this on page 7 of her newsletter. Do share with family and friends.

Budget/Legislative Snapshots – 2011 Session

  • The State’s workforce will be cut by 4,500.
  • Medicaid (the state’s insurance program for 3.1 million poor and elderly Floridians) will be turned over to private industry at a cost of $22 billion. Medicaid patients will now be enrolled in managed care.
  • Property insurance companies were allowed to raise taxes up to 15 percent.
  • Property owners have less time to file claims involving sink hole and storm related damage. The statute of limitations will be reduced to two years for filing hurricane and windstorm claims after a storm.
  • Bright Futures Scholarships were cut by 20%.
  • Courses covered by class size limits will be reduced from 849 to 304. (This is a back door way to circumvent the requirements of the citizen-led class size constitutional amendment.)
  • State employees will now have to work longer before they are eligible to retire. Retirement ages for employees hired after July 1, will increase from age 62 or 30 years of service to age 65 or 33 years of service.
  • The retirement age for special risk employees (such as police and firefighters) will increase from age 55 or 25 years of service to age 60 or 30 years of service. Vesting requirement will go from 6 years to 8 years for new hires.
  • Cost of living raises for retirees will be eliminated for all service earned on or after July 1 (effectively eliminating DROP).
  • Prisons in an 18-county area of South Florida will be turned over to private contractors, resulting in the lay off of up to 1,751 state employees.

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