Letter to the Editor, Herald Tribune, May 15, 2014

The 2014 legislative session that just closed will go down as 60 days full of missed opportunities.

Nearly 1 million Floridians were denied basic health care coverage as Tallahassee refused to expand Medicaid. Our leaders, who say they are focused on the state’s economy, instead said “no, thank you” to an enormous economic boost, refusing nearly $51 billion in federal money and approximately 120,000 new high-paying jobs.

On the environmental front, legislation designed to protect Florida’s natural springs, which are in serious trouble from years of overpumping and pollution, died in the House after passing in the Senate. This refusal to act on behalf of our environment is also a looming economic disaster as Florida’s four largest springs bring in $70 million annually. So much for focusing on the economy.

The Legislature also missed an opportunity to make Florida elections run more smoothly. In the coming months, many residents will be registering to vote for the first time, or updating their addresses and signatures. Online Voter Registration has already been implemented in 20 states, with many finding it saves money and is more efficient than paper registration.

By refusing to implement OVR, our leaders are keeping Florida’s elections from moving into the 21st century.

Missed opportunities: Floridians deserve better.

Judy Archre

and Penny Shuff

Co-presidents

League of Women Voters

Sarasota County

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