Florida Fights Back

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The

     The newsletter of The James Madison Institute               www.jamesmadison.org           s pring 2012
                                   Trusted Solutions for a Better Florida


                                                                                                          FLORIDIANS UNITE AGAINST
                                                                                                          FEDERAL OVERREACH: From
                                                                                                          the steps of the Florida
JMI now has journalists on                                                                                Capitol, U.S. Congressman
staff holding government                                                                                  Steve Southerland (FL-2)
accountable in Tallahassee                                                                                defends Florida’s right to
and around the state. Visit                                                                               maintain effective control
www.capitolvanguard.org                                                                                   over its waterways. His
for regular news reports                                                                                  federal bill largely mirrors
each week.                                                                                                the state legislature’s
                                                                                                          unanimous effort to reject
                                                                                                          the U.S. Environmental
                                                                                                          Protection Agency’s
                                                                                                          regulatory overreach.


                              Florida Fights Back
                              A    s Governor Rick Scott was being sworn into
                                   office in January 2011, Florida’s unemploy-
                              ment rate was a staggering 12%. Since then,
                                                                                  costly regulation imposed by the Environmental
                                                                                  Protection Agency (page 5); and how Florida is
                                                                                  continuing to position itself as a state open for
                              unemployment has dropped to 9%. However,            business with reduced taxes, regulations, and a
InsIde ThIs Issue:            even as many Floridians have gone back to           lower cost for consumers across the state (pages
                              work, too many are still unemployed. In ad-         4-5). Much more needs to be done — and we
President’s Message           dition, more than 300,000 homes in Florida          hope lawmakers will take note of those things
Page 2                        remain in foreclosure, with more expected           that will continue to help Floridians fight back
                              before our housing market finally “bottoms          against an encroaching federal government
Governor Walker in Naples     out” and rebounds.                                  and an economy that still awaits a much fuller
Page 3                            Despite what policy makers in Florida have      recovery. Since Ponce de Leon arrived on our
                              tried to do to revive our state’s economic situ-    shores nearly 500 years ago, Florida has always
2012 Legislative Report
                              ation, many of Florida’s woes are a result of       been a land with an entrepreneurial spirit. It is
Pages 4-5, 11
                              federal overreach into the housing sector and       no surprise then that Floridians of all stripes are
JMI in Action                 reckless spending on everything from “stimulus”     finding a way to fight back.
Pages 6-7                     projects to entitlement programs. Florida also         A full report on the 2012 legislative session
                              remains particularly vulnerable to the poor hous-   begins on page 4.
Thrift & Civics Education     ing market and fluctuating energy prices
Pages 8-9                     due to our reliance on tourism, agriculture,
                                                                                                      JMI’s Winter 2012 Journal
                              and new construction, not to mention the
Moving to The Columns                                                                                 proposed a number of policy ideas
                              threat employers face from new federal
Page 9                        mandates in the healthcare sector.
                                                                                                       for the early Florida legislative
                                  However, Floridians — and our elected                                session. The Journal is hand
Faces of JMI
                              officials — are fighting back. In this issue                             delivered to each legislative
Page 10                                                                                                 office and sent to JMI members
                              of the Messenger you will read about how
                              Florida led the lawsuit against the federal                               around the state three times each
JMI vs. ObamaCare
                              government’s healthcare mandate (page                                     year. subscribe to the Journal by
Page 10
                              10); how the Florida Legislature, in a unani-                             becoming a member today at
                              mous bipartisan vote, fought back against a                                www.jamesmadison.org.
                                                      MEssAGE FROM ThE PREsIdENT

                                                                                        There is no question that 2012 is a pivotal year in our
                                                                                     nation’s history. Just how pivotal remains to be seen.
                                                                                     We have an economy teetering on the edge, constrained
            BOARd OF dIRECTORs                                                       by a federal government that continues to spend, tax,
         Chairman: Allan Bense, Panama City
    Vice Chairman: J. Stanley Marshall, Tallahassee                                  and regulate. The nation waits, following oral argu-
    President and CEO: J. Robert McClure III                                         ments regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable
                  Glen Blauch, Naples                                                Care Act (otherwise known as “ObamaCare”) to see
             Jacob F. Bryan, Jacksonville             Bob McClure                    whether or not the U.S. Supreme Court will change
            Charles E. Cobb, Coral Gables                                            225 years of precedent and settled law. Ahead of us
             Mark Crosswhite, Pensacola
              Rebecca Dunn, Palm Beach                are state and national elections that will go a long way towards dictating the future
           George W. Gibbs III, Jacksonville          of this great country.
             Robert H. Gidel, Sr., Orlando
            L. Charles Hilton, Panama City                And your favorite think tank engages every day in these struggles, advancing the
               John Hrabusa, Lakeland                 principles of economic freedom, personal responsibility, and private philanthropy.
                John F. Kirtley, Tampa
               Fred Leonhardt, Orlando                    On numerous strategic fronts, JMI is defending freedom while offering solu-
             Jeffrey V. Swain, Tallahassee            tions to the issues that Floridians and the rest of the country face. We work with
             Thomas K. Sittema, Orlando               elected officials on ideas to rescue this economy and create jobs. In an effort to
    ThE REsEARCh AdvIsORy COuNCIL OF                  strike down the onerous healthcare law, JMI filed an Amicus brief with the U.S.
      ThE JAMEs MAdIsON INsTITuTE                     Supreme Court in February in defense of state sovereignty and the “laboratories
            Dr. Susan Aud, Milton and Rose            of democracy” that the Founders envisioned; and we will play an influential role
                  Friedman Foundation                 in the 2012 election by sticking to our principles.
              Dr. Michael Bond, University
                        of Arizona                        JMI will not focus on personalities but rather on policies — holding candidates
             Dr. Marshall DeRosa, Florida             accountable for their words and their promises, while shaping the battle of ideas
                   Atlantic University
      Dr. Thomas V. DiBacco, American University      during the numerous debates that will no doubt take place. We remain the one
       Dino Falaschetti, Florida State University,    “honest broker” in Florida devoted to liberty, the protection of private property,
                      College of Law
      Dr. James Gwartney, Florida State University    and the rule of law, and 2012 provides a whole host of opportunities to expand
           Dr. Bradley K. Hobbs, Florida Gulf         our influence.
                     Coast University
             Dr. Randall Holcombe, Florida
                                                          Understand this: The Institute’s ability to expand its reach and to take on these
                     State University                 challenges has never been stronger, thanks to you. Numerous opportunities are
           Dr. Barry Poulson, the University          before us, and I’m optimistic that with hard work and a compelling message, we
                       of Colorado
        J.B. Ruhl, J.D., Florida State University     will win the day. After all, the hunger for freedom is universal.
                      College of Law                      I hope you can see from this edition of the Messenger just how active we have
          Peter Schweizer, Hoover Institution
      James Taylor, J.D., The Heartland Institute     been during the first few months of the year; and just how active we will be going
                                                      forward. Thanks to so many of you, our impact and influence continue to expand
                                                      across the state and the country. If you are not yet a member of The James Madi-
               sTAFF dIRECTORy                        son Institute, consider joining. Together we can get Florida back on the road to
          Bob McClure, President and CEO
      J. Stanley Marshall, Founding Chairman          prosperity and serve as a model to the nation, all the while protecting the future
            Amar Ali, Research Associate              for our children and grandchildren.
    Tanja Clendinen, Director of Communications
     Francisco Gonzalez, Director of Development
          Keri Gordon, Executive Assistant                                                             Sincerely,
         Becky Liner, Director of Operations
       Jill Mattox, Development Grant Writer
           William Mattox, Resident Fellow
             Will Patrick, Capitol Reporter
      Thomas Perrin, Director of Public Affairs
           Bob Sanchez, Director of Policy                                                             J. Robert McClure III, Ph.D.
        Jenny Stone, Donor Relations Manager                                                           President and CEO
            Laura Ward, Financial Manager

          ThE JAMEs MAdIsON INsTITuTE
        P.O. Box 37460, Tallahassee, FL 32315
       850-386-3131 Phone, 850-386-1807 Fax
              jmi@jamesmadison.org
               www.jamesmadison.org

2   The Messenger spring 2012
JMI hosts Governor scott Walker in Naples
By David Healy, JMI Intern                                                                              and attacking Governor Walker’s
                                                                                                        free-market prescriptions for


O    n February 8th, The James Madison                                                                  Wisconsin and the nation.
     Institute hosted Wisconsin Governor                                                                   However, many support Gov-
Scott Walker at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Re-                                                               ernor Walker’s dogged efforts to
sort in Naples, Florida. Speaking on the                                                                lead his state to live within its
importance of the free-market policies he                                                               means. “Governor Walker has
has implemented on the state level, Gov-                                                                been in office a little more than a
ernor Walker made a strong case about                                                                   year, and the reforms have been
how his reforms are helping to grow the                                                                 unbelievable,” said JMI President
economy in Wisconsin while limiting the                                                                 Bob McClure.
scope of government.                                                                                       These reforms have already
   “The real places where we change                                                                     taken effect and shown positive
America are not in Washington; we change                                                                results. In the four years prior
things in the states.” Over 230 JMI mem-                                                                to Governor Walker’s election in
                                                                                                        2010, Wisconsin had steadily lost
                                             Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker addresses more than        over 150,000 private sector jobs.
                                             230 JMI members and guests at the February 8th Naples      But now, says Governor Walker,
   “The real places where we                 luncheon.
                                                                                                        “the unemployment rate is lower
   change America are not                    recall campaign that will try to oust him than it was in 2008.”
                                             from office this June. In Naples, 1500                The Governor delivered an articulate re-
   in Washington; we change
                                             miles south of the Badger state, his fiscal sponse to those who disagree with him and
   things in the states.”                    policies were met with the ire of some 200 is certainly using his recall election as an
                                             demonstrators, many of whom were union opportunity to emphasize the results of his
                                             members and part of the “Occupy Naples” reforms. If you weren’t able to make it to
bers and guests attended and greeted the     group. In anticipation of his speaking at the February event in Naples, you can view
Governor with a warm reception.              the JMI Naples luncheon on February 8th, the full video on JMI’s YouTube channel,
   Governor Walker’s pursuit of a solvent    the local newspapers’ opinion pages were which can be accessed via the Institute’s
government and an equitable market has       full of letters to the editor both supporting home page at www.jamesmadison.org.
made him a polarizing figure in an age
of extravagant government. Upon taking
office last year, the Governor used the
support of a conservative legislature to
curb the public employees unions’ ability
to bargain collectively for benefits such
as pensions and tenure practices and to
give public employees the choice not to
join a union. “Instead of fourteen hundred
dollars being automatically deducted from
teachers’ salaries every year, they can
choose to use that money to contribute
to their own health pensions or put it in
their savings account so their kid can go
to college,” said Governor Walker.
   His closing of Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion
dollar budget gap has been hailed as fis-
cal responsibility by some and vilified as
draconian austerity by others. Back home,
the Governor is squaring up against the      Governor Walker with JMI Naples Board member Glen Blauch and his family. From left to right: Ryan
union bosses as he faces a well-financed     Blauch, Christina Bower, Glen Blauch, Governor Walker, Amy Blauch, and Sandra Blauch.

                                                                                                       www.jamesmadison.org   The Messenger      3
                                                                     2 0 1 2                           L E G I s L A
    The ups and downs of the 2012 Legislative session
    By Thomas Perrin and Will Patrick


    T   he 2012 legislative session could best be described as a
        rollercoaster ride. Several positive changes were crafted and
    approved, but unfortunately many good proposals died because
                                                                                 14 days to seek medical treatment regardless of who’s
                                                                                 at fault. Coverage restrictions will shrink to exclude
                                                                                 acupuncturists and massage therapists, and will only
    of political infighting or time constraints.                                 extend to chiropractors when patients are referred by
       Controversies surrounding redistricting, casinos, and the state           doctors. Attorney fees will not be capped, but the “fee
    budget consumed much of the legislators’ time and attention.                 multiplier” awarded to personal injury attorneys in these
    New congressional and legislative districts were drawn in an at-             kinds of cases is now prohibited.
    tempt to comply with the new guidelines from the 2010 election’s
    Amendments 5 and 6, but the Florida Supreme Court ended up
    ruling that the Senate needed to rework sections of its plan. A
    casino gambling proposal that would have allowed three large
    “destination resorts” to open and operate in South Florida was
    reviewed but scrapped after lawmakers couldn’t agree on the
    terms. A new $70 billion balanced state budget was approved,
    commendably holding the line on taxes and spending. Gov.
    Rick Scott used his line-item veto to cut an additional $142.7
    million dedicated to specific appropriations.

    Notable proposals enacted:

       •	 The Florida Legislature further expanded the Florida Tax
          Credit Scholarship Program, which already provides a
          school voucher to more than 40,000 Florida students            PIP, PIP, POORAY! Florida CFO Jeff Atwater speaks at a press conference on
          from low-income families. House Bill (HB) 859 increased        PIP reform with Governor Scott and consumer advocates. The new law is
          the maximum tax credit available to corporations do-           expected to reduce accident fraud and lower auto insurance premiums.
          nating to the program in fiscal year 2012-2013 by $10.2
          million -- to $229 million. Also, after 2013-2014, the cap
          amount will be expanded by 25 percent every year when
          90 percent of the previous year’s cap is reached. The
          bill also repeals an eligibility requirement that students
          must have been previously enrolled in a public school.
          It also allows participating private schools to administer
          statewide assessments in conjunction with the Depart-
          ment of Education.

       •	 All Florida drivers must carry Personal Injury Protec-
          tion (PIP) insurance. Thanks to the Legislature’s actions
          this session, policyholders can now expect a marked
          reduction in their premiums, including a minimum of
          10 percent by October 1 and 25 percent by 2014. With
          less than three hours before the 2012 session’s midnight
          deadline for adjournment, Gov. Rick Scott saw his top
          legislative priority – reform of Florida’s auto insurance
                                                                          LET’S GET TO WORK: Bob McClure joins Florida Governor Rick Scott and
          law – narrowly pass through the Senate by a 22-17 vote.        other advocates at a bill signing ceremony. The Governor signed four
          After much compromise, HB 119 is expected to go a long         “jobs bills” into law, reducing taxes and regulations for small businesses
          way towards combating $1 billion in annual auto insur-         and turning Florida’s unemployment compensation system into a
          ance fraud. The bill affords those injured in an auto crash    reemployment assistance program.


4      The Messenger spring 2012
A T I v E                       R E P O R T
      •	 Four new jobs bills signed by the Governor are designed              EPA’s rules would have soared well into the billions
         to provide $120 million in tax cuts to businesses and                —with Florida’s taxpayers footing the bill. Sensing a
         drive down the unemployment rate – making Florida                    showdown, the EPA has since relented – for now, at least.
         the first state in the country to change from an unem-
         ployment compensation system to a re-employment as-               •	 The Legislature also passed HB 177, which attempts to
         sistance program. One of the bills focuses on providing              help prison inmates adjust to re-entering civil society
         job skills training to Florida’s out-of-work citizens who            when they are released from custody. The bill would
         need it the most, while another bill doubled the corpo-              expand drug treatment and rehabilitation programs
         rate income tax exemption to $50,000, eliminating 25%                across the state and potentially shorten prison terms for
         of remaining payers and representing a 66% reduction                 a relatively small number of nonviolent felons.
         since Governor Scott began eliminating the tax in 2011.

      •	 A regulation which was passed in 2010 to require a septic       Notable proposals defeated:
         tank inspection every five years was repealed during the
         2012 session — thus eliminating a costly regulation for           •	 Lawmakers couldn’t reach agreement on pension reforms
         septic tank owners.                                                  for new enrollees in the Florida Retirement System,
                                                                              which includes all employees of the state, counties, and
                                                                              school districts, plus some municipal employees. HB
                                                                              525 would have lengthened the vesting period for FRS
                                                 ➤                            members in the traditional “defined benefit” (DB) plan
                                                 MEDIA INFLUENCE:             to 11 years from the current eight years. New employees
                                                 JMI President                who did not express a preference for their retirement plan
                                                 Bob McClure is               during their first six months on the job would be placed
                                                 interviewed in the
                                                                              in the 401k-style “defined contribution” (DC) investment
                                                 Florida Capitol by
                                                 James Call of WFSU,          plan. The bill would have also reversed a change made
                                                 Florida Public Radio.        last year, which delayed retirement for police officers,
                                                                              firefighters, and other members of the special risk class.
                                                                              Negotiations with the Senate ultimately fell apart. This
                                                                              year’s pension proposals would have gone a long way
                                                                              toward shifting more public employees to a DC plan,
                                                                              reducing the taxpayers’ cost to cover future pension
                                                                              obligations. This is an area that the Legislature should
                                                                              review again next year.
                        ➤
  BRINGING THE HEAT: JMI
  Policy Director Bob Sanchez                                              •	 A plan to empower parents of children assigned to the
  testifies about government                                                  worst-rated public schools with several improvement
  employee pension reform
                                                                              options failed by a 20-20 tie vote in the Senate. Notably,
  at a legislative committee.
                                                                              Senate Bill (SB) 1718, which was dubbed the “Parent Trig-
                                                                              ger Bill,” would have opened the door for failed public
      •	 Florida successfully fought back against a controversial             schools to be converted into private charter schools if a
         regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency                    simple majority of parents petitioned their local school
         (EPA). In a rare unanimous expression of bipartisan                  board to do so. The bill received strong support from
         support, Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 7051 after it passed              former Gov. Jeb Bush and his Foundation for Excellence
         the House 118-0 and Senate 38-0. The bill established                in Education. It was vehemently opposed by the Florida
         Florida’s own water quality standards in an attempt to               Education Association, a federation of teachers’ unions.
         replace the EPA’s rules that were set to take effect on              With Senate leadership pressing for the bill’s passage
         March 6, 2012. The federal mandate would have set the                and strong intraparty support, SB 1718’s failure to pass
         acceptable “numeric nutrient criteria” found in inland               was disappointing. Reminiscent of the vote on a prison-
         waters at levels that would hand de facto control of                 privatization bill (SB 2038), which also failed, a group
         Florida’s waterways over to the EPA. Several non-partisan            of eight Republicans joined with all 12 Democrats to kill
         studies have shown that the costs of implementing the                this school choice bill.
                                                                                                                           (Continured on page 11)

                                                                                                    www.jamesmadison.org    The Messenger            5
                                                                                                                                1 Jacksonville –


    JMI in Action                                                                                                              Members of JMI’s
                                                                                                                               Jacksonville Board of
                                                                                                                               Advisors prepare to

T       he pictures and captions on these pages                                                                                hear a presentation
                                                                                                                               on organized labor’s
        reflect some of the highlights from the
                                                                                                                               regulatory agenda by
    late fall 2011 through the Florida “winter”
                                                                                                                               Glenn Spencer of the U.S.
    of 2012. During that time period, JMI held                                                                                 Chamber of Commerce.
    more than a dozen events across the state
    and served as speakers and panelists at
    various conferences and gatherings. As
    2012 swung into gear, the Institute educated
    policymakers, citizens, and high school
    and colleges students about threats to
    Constitutional principles and how economic
    freedom can address the contemporary
    challenges we face in public policy.                             11 10




                                                                                                                 12


                                                                                                                                                               9




                          2   Tampa – In six events across the state in March, JMI hosted Glenn
                          Spencer, Vice President of the Workforce Freedom Initiative at the                                                               2
                          U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Above, Mr. Spencer presents his findings
                          on “Organized Labor’s Regulatory Agenda” at the University Club of
                          Tampa on March 21.
                                                                                                                                                       3




                                    3 Sarasota – JMI member Jim Tollerton introduces
                                   JMI President Bob McClure as the keynote speaker
                                   at a breakfast the Institute co-hosts with him on
                                   March 21.
                                                                                                   4 Naples – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
                                                                                                  keynotes JMI’s Naples Luncheon on February 8. See
                                                                                                  story, page 3.

6      The Messenger spring 2012
                                                                                                                 Additional
                                                         5 Orlando – In partnership
                                                        with the Orange County Young
                                                                                                                  Events
                                                        Republicans, led at the time
                                                                                                     8 Orlando – Bill Mattox speaks at the 2nd
                                                        by Christian Waugh of JMI’s
                                                        Central Florida Board of Advisors,          Annual Florida Sunshine Summit on March 12.
                                                        “Madison Movie Nights”
                                                        hosts a screening of Waiting                 9 Gainesville – Bob McClure delivers a
                                                        for Superman, the alarming                  lecture at the University of Florida’s College of
                                                        documentary about America’s                 Education on February 29.
                                                        failing public school system. The
                                                        screening is followed by a panel             10 Pensacola – Bob Sanchez addresses the Gulf
                                                        discussion including JMI Resident           Coast Economics Club on February 15 on the
                                                        Fellow Bill Mattox.                         topic, “Has America Reached the Tipping Point?”

                                                                                                     11 Pensacola – On February 2, Bill Mattox
                                                                                                    delivers a President’s Day Message to the
                                                                                                    Pensacola Rotary Club on “The Greatest
          1
                                                                                                    President of the 20th Century.” To see whom
                                                                                                    he chose, view the lecture on JMI’s YouTube
                                                                                                    channel, accessible via the JMI website at
                                                                                                    www.jamesmadison.org.

                                                                                                     12 East Point – To kick off Thrift Education
9
                                                                                                    Week, JMI hosts “Ben Franklin” on January 17,
                                                                                                    to speak to students in Franklin County, Florida
                                                                                                    about the value of thrift. See Story, page 8.

                                                                                                     13 Davie – On January 14, JMI co-sponsors the

                         6 Boca Raton – Dr. Whalid Phares (center) is a guest speaker               International School Choice Reform academic
                        at JMI’s “American Cause” civics seminar for college students               conference at Nova Southeastern University.
        15
           5            at Florida Atlantic University on February 13. The series is
        8                                                                                            14 Orlando – On November 14, JMI Policy
          14            led by JMI Senior Fellow and FAU political science professor
                        Marshall DeRosa (right). At left are JMI’s Francisco Gonzalez               Director Bob Sanchez serves as a panelist at
                        and Bob Rubin, FAU Trustee and member of JMI’s Palm Beach                   the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Insurance
                        Board of Advisors.                                                          Summit.

                                                                                                    15   Orlando – On November 5, JMI’s
                                                                                                            Development Director Francisco Gonzalez
                                                                                                            leads a fundraising seminar at the
                                                                                                            Collegiate Network’s annual national
                                                                                                            conference, for student editors who lead
                    6                                                                                       conservative college newspapers around
                                                                                                            the country.


    4
               13                                                                                           OUt Of State

                    7
                                                                                                            16  Albuquerque, New Mexico – JMI
                                                                                                            Public Affairs Director Thomas Perrin
                                                                                                            attends the Cato
                                                                                                             Institute’s Health
                                                                                                            Care Policy
                                                                                                            Summit on
                                                                                                                                       16 Albuquerque
                                7 Miami – JMI and SunPac: Florida Hispanic Outreach held a luncheon         January 6-8.
                               at John Martin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in Coral Gables. Pictured above
                               (left to right) are SunPac Chairman Jeb Bush, Jr., JMI Board Member
                               Ambassador Charles Cobb, and JMI President & CEO Dr. Bob McClure.

                                                                                                             www.jamesmadison.org     The Messenger     7
    Governor, Lt. Governor, and CFO help
    JMI Revive ‘Thrift Week’ in Florida
    F    lorida Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Gov. Jen-
         nifer Carroll participated in a special
    JMI celebration promoting thrift educa-
                                                    rulers,” noted JMI President Bob McClure
                                                    at the Florida Capitol event. “So, it’s fitting
                                                    that our new curriculum would be built
    tion for students at the Florida Capitol in     around Franklin’s time-honored ideas.”
    January. The event featured the official            Benjamin Franklin re-enactor Lloyd
    unveiling of JMI’s new supplemental             Wheeler took part in the celebration at
    curriculum, All About the Benjamins:            the Capitol, telling students that Franklin’s
    Understanding the Value of Thrift.              interest in thrift began at an early age
        Scott’s mid-day speech to more than         after he discovered that he had greatly
    100 Florida students and parents followed       overpaid for a tin whistle. The following
    his signing of an Official Proclamation         week, Wheeler gave a similar performance
    designating the week of Benjamin Frank-         for students at the Franklin County Public        “Ben Franklin” (re-enactor Lloyd Wheeler of
    lin’s birthday (Jan. 17) as “Thrift Week”       School (K-12).                                    Tallahassee) visits with students in Franklin
    in Florida. This proclamation, which was            Throughout Thrift Week, JMI used its          County, Florida.
    also signed by Chief Financial Officer Jeff     Twitter account to tweet “daily benjamins”
    Atwater and other members of the Florida        (wise sayings about thrift popularized by
    cabinet, calls thrift “the antidote to the      Franklin). Some of these took on a life of
    high levels of debt and economic uncer-         their own. For example, one showed up
    tainty currently plaguing our nation.”          on a church marquee; and another got re-
        Underwritten by a generous grant from       tweeted by Florida House Appropriations
    the John Templeton Foundation, JMI’s            Chair Denise Grimsley, who reminded her
    new curriculum draws upon Franklin’s            colleagues: “Beware of little expenses; a
    wise sayings promoting industry, frugal-        small leak will sink a great ship.”
    ity, and the wise use of one’s resources.           During Thrift Week, JMI Resident Fel-
    “Ben Franklin recognized that it is just as     low William Mattox also took part in a
    important for Americans to have economic        special program in Philadelphia sponsored
    freedom from debt and dependency as it is       by the Institute for American Values. This
    to have political freedom from tyrannical       event surrounded the release of Why Thrift

                                                                                                      JMI’s 12-page curriculum guide “All About
                                                                                                      the Benjamins” was distributed to more than
    Florida’s Chief                                                                                   135,000 high school students in 50 Florida
    Financial Officer                                                                                 counties during Thrift Week in January.
    Jeff Atwater
    (right) presents
    a Thrift Week                                                                                     Matters, an important new scholarly report
    Proclamation to                                                                                   which JMI joined in signing.
    JMI President
                                                                                                         In addition to its new work on thrift,
    Bob McClure in
    January; In April,                                                                                JMI continued its longstanding work on
    CFO Atwater                                                                                       civics, holding a spring seminar series on
    addresses JMI’s                                                                                   “The American Cause” at Florida Atlantic
    “American Cause”                                                                                  University. Hosted by JMI Senior Fellow
    civics seminar at                                                                                 Marshall DeRosa, these programs expose
    FAU on the topic,                                                                                 college students to a number of dynamic
    “Why Economic                                                                                     speakers, including Dr. Whalid Phares,
    Freedom
                                                                                                      a counterterrorism expert who spoke on
    Matters.”
                                                                                                      “America’s Image in the Middle East After
                                                                                                                                      (Continured on page 9)


8      The Messenger spring 2012
Putting the Finishing Touches on The Columns
W       ith the 2012 legislative session –
        and special session – complete, the
Institute is now preparing to officially and
                                                   “We’re really getting ready to shake
                                                things up in Florida’s capital city more
                                                than ever,” said Development Director
                                                                                                    us throughout the month of May as we
                                                                                                    make this move. While we’re shaking up
                                                                                                    downtown Tallahassee, please pardon
literally move into its new downtown Tal-       Francisco Gonzalez. “We’re just asking              our dust.”
lahassee headquarters during the month          our members and friends to bear with
of May. It’s not quite a move back to the
1830s, but it sure feels like it.
    “This is a beautiful old building and
we’ve given it a nice upgrade,” said Direc-
tor of Operations Becky Liner.
    There is a fresh coat of paint on all the
walls, new wood flooring and chandeliers
that keep with the historic nature of the
building, among many other upgraded
features. “We wanted to have an ‘old
Florida’ theme with this building,” said
Institute President Bob McClure. “The
bones of the building were in great shape,
it was just about sprucing it up.”
    As of this writing, boxes were being
packed at the Institute’s “old” headquar-
ters on Delta Boulevard in preparation
for the move. Stay tuned to the Institute’s
website, emails, and the next edition of        No, that’s not quite what we’ve done with the renovations! Above is a picture of The Columns, JMI’s
the Messenger for a full update as well as      new downtown Tallahassee headquarters, as depicted at LegoLand Florida, a new theme park in
news on grand opening activities.               Central Florida. (Photo by Laura Sullivan-Hackley)


(Continured from page 8)
the Arab Spring;” Glenn Spencer, Execu-
tive Director of the Workforce Freedom                                                  S av e t h e D at e
Initiative at the U.S. Chamber of Com-
merce, who spoke on “The Separation of                                                          The
Powers and its Impact on American Free
Enterprise;” and Florida Chief Financial                                                 JaMes MadIson
Officer Jeff Atwater, who spoke on April
9th on “Why Economic Freedom Matters.”
                                                                                          InsTITu Te’s
    JMI also continued its “Madison Movie                                               25 th anniverSary

                                                                                               Gala
Nights” on college campuses, bringing a
new documentary on entrepreneurship
to Florida State University in March after
screening two school choice documenta-
ries last fall at the University of Central
Florida and FSU, as well as a documentary
that analyzes the flaws of the Canadian
health care system and compares it to
“ObamaCare.” On April 4th, the Institute
                                                                                            March 12, 2013
hosted a screening at FSU of the 2011 film                                                   tallahaSSee
“Atlas Shrugged: Part 1,” based on the
1957 novel by Ayn Rand.

                                                                                                           www.jamesmadison.org    The Messenger      9
 Faces of JMI:
 CNL’s CEO Joins JMI’s Board
 T    om Sittema credits his parents for
      inspiring him “to be informed at a
 very young age.” While he does not like
                                                     Mr. Sittema received his Bachelor of
                                                  Arts degree in Business Administration
                                                  from Dordt College and an MBA with a
 “politics” per se, he does believe “it is the    concentration in finance from Indiana
 responsibility of being a good corporate         University. In 2007, he was named one
 citizen to be informed and
 to have an understanding
                                                                   of the “Seven Investment
                                                                   Bankers Every Director
                                                                                                JMI Files Challenge
 of the key issues that are
 fundamentally driving
                                                                   Should Know,” by Cor-        to ObamaCare with
 government.”
                                                                   porate Board Member
                                                                   magazine.
                                                                                                u.s. supreme Court
     Mr. Sittema is the chief                                                                   By David Healy, JMI intern
                                                                      Mr. Sittema also has
 executive officer of CNL
                                                                   an interest in develop-

                                                                                                O
 Financial Group, a lead-                                                                            n January 17, The James Madison
 ing private investment                                            ing the next generation
                                                                                                     Institute filed an amicus brief with
 firm that provides global                                         of leadership in Florida.
                                                                                                the United States Supreme Court in
 real estate and alternative                                       When he and his wife
                                                                                                support of Florida and 25 other states’
 investments. He joined                                            moved to Orlando two         challenge of the Obama Administra-
 CNL in October 2009 after                                         years ago, he joined the     tion’s Patient Protection and Affordable
 a long and prestigious in-                                        Board of Overseers for       Care Act (PPACA). One provision of the
 vestment banking career                                           the Crummer Graduate         highly contested new law, often called
 with Bank of America,                                             School of Business at        “ObamaCare,” would force states to in-
 including his most recent Tom Sittema                             Rollins College. “I like     crease their spending on social services
 assignment as managing                                            the collaborative team-      such as Medicaid by tens of billions of
 director of real estate, gaming and lodging      based and holistic approach Rollins takes     dollars every year. JMI argued that by
 investment banking for Bank of America                                                         linking states’ compliance with their
                                                  in educating students,” he said. “They
 Merrill Lynch.                                                                                 federal funding, the PPACA “under-
                                                  successfully integrate important topics of
     Mr. Sittema joined the real estate invest-                                                 mines the essence of federalism by
                                                  leadership and ethics into their business
 ment banking division of Banc of America                                                       denying states a meaningful choice on
                                                  curriculum.” Mr. Sittema also serves on
 Securities at its formation in 1994 and as-                                                    whether to expand their state Medicaid
 sisted in the establishment and build-out        the advisory board of the Center for Real
                                                                                                programs.” Visit jamesmadison.org for
 of the company’s securitization/perma-           Estate for Belk College of Business at the
                                                                                                a link to JMI’s full Amicus brief.
 nent loan programs.                              University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
                                                                                                     The Supreme Court heard oral
     He and his wife are involved in a num-          Last summer, Mr. Sittema joined the
                                                                                                arguments on State of Florida, et al.,
 ber of civic, charitable and faith-based or-     Board of Directors of The James Madison
                                                                                                v. United States Department of Health
                                                  Institute. “I am very interested in making
 ganizations. Mr. Sittema currently serves                                                      and Human Resources, et al. in late
                                                  what contribution I can in supporting,
 as the chairman of WorldServe Ministries                                                       March. The challengers focused their
                                                  encouraging and influencing the work of
 in Dallas, Texas.                                                                              arguments on the law’s “individual
                                                  JMI to inform the electorate on a wide-
     He also serves on the Executive Board                                                      mandate” provision which would re-
                                                  range of important issues,” said Sittema.
 of the Metro Orlando Economic Develop-                                                         quire all citizens to purchase medical
                                                  “Specifically it means making govern-
 ment Commission. “The EDC touches on                                                           insurance. “Through the Medicaid and
                                                  ment more transparent and accountable
 a wide array of key civic issues that are                                                      individual mandate provision, the law
                                                  and guiding elected officials towards a
 important to our business, our employees                                                       takes power away from the states and
                                                  pro-business agenda and a disciplined
                                                                                                the people and puts it into the hands of
 and total quality of life in the region as       approach to law making.”
                                                                                                the Federal Government,” JMI’s Thomas
 they are exclusively focused on attracting,         “I am very interested in supporting tort
                                                                                                Perrin said of the health care law. The
 retaining and growing jobs,” said Sittema.       reform and limited but effective govern-
                                                                                                court’s decision on the constitutionality
 “The EDC helps unite Orlando’s business          ment while promoting initiatives and poli-
                                                                                                of the law is expected in June.
 leaders around a jobs focus.”                    cies that encourage job creation.”

10   The Messenger spring 2012
                           2011 LEGIsLATIvE REPORT
(Continured from page 5)
     •	 As for SB 2038, in what became a signature moment                       the Senate created protections for members appointed
        of the 2012 session, the plan to privatize state prisons                by previous Governors.
        in 18 South Florida counties dramatically failed on the
        Senate floor, losing 21-19. At the outset, the Republican-          •	 HB 4013 and SB 238 would have repealed state and fed-
        sponsored bill was thought to be a slam dunk because of                eral laws requiring that motor fuels contain 10 percent
        GOP supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature.                 ethanol. Sponsors stated that ethanol harms boat motors
        But the bill was blocked by a group of rebellious Repub-               and causes reduced gas mileage for vehicles. The bill
        licans led by Sen. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey).                    appeared to be moving well until Agriculture Commis-
                                                                               sioner Adam Putnam raised concerns.
     •	 A measure to move 1.47 million policies out of the state-
        operated Citizens Property Insurance and into unregu-               •	 Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood) filed HB 4177 which
        lated, out-of-state property insurers known as surplus                 would have repealed previous legislation authorizing
        lines companies was filed as HB 245 and SB 578. The                    red-light cameras, but the bill lost steam and failed.
        plan was championed by Rep. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton)
        and other lawmakers who argued that in the event of             Summary and Conclusion
        a major storm policyholders would be required to pay               The 2012 Legislature’s regular session definitely had a differ-
        costly assessments on their property insurance and              ent feel. Because of redistricting, it began earlier in the year,
        their vehicle insurance. Special interest groups fought         convening in January instead of the usual March. The early
        the changes and Senator Fasano added an amendment               schedule, the redrafting of congressional and legislative maps,
        requiring Citizens customers to opt-in to the surplus lines     a heavily lobbied casino-gambling proposal, and the need to
        carriers instead of being transferred to the companies.         deal with a budget deficit were major factors determining the
        Representative Boyd then permanently postponed his              fate of many pieces of legislation
        bill, arguing that it was no longer worth passing.                 Even though the 2012 session did accomplish some good
     •	 The “Health Care Compact” proposal sponsored by Sen.            things, many important free-market proposals were left on the
        Stephen Wise (R-Jacksonville) gives states the oppor-           table – despite one party having supermajorities in both the
        tunity to chart their own path in the healthcare arena          House and Senate. While some of the players in this year’s
        without having to worry about giving up the “federal            legislative drama will be gone, casualties of term limits, others
        matching funds” they already paid for. This compact             return in 2013 – but only if they’re re-elected in a year when
        would have equipped Florida with a formal mechanism             every single district is up for grabs because of redistricting. So,
        for working with other states to roll back federal over-        in the end, it’ll be up to Florida’s voters to determine whether
        reach in health care while at the same time providing           next year’s session will resemble this year’s.
        more flexibility for our state. The proposed language was
        never sponsored in the House.

     •	 A proposal originally crafted in the Senate would have
        allowed restaurants who employ tipped staff to change to
        the federal standard of $2.13 per hour instead of the Florida
        minimum wage for tipped employees (currently $4.65 per
        hour) in exchange for a guarantee that the employee would
        have overall compensation no less than $10 an hour. The
        Senate later backed off and killed the legislation.

     •	 Currently, it is at the discretion of school boards to al-
        locate money to charter schools in their districts. A bold
        plan that would have relinquished total control over
        these funds and would have required an equal propor-
        tion of tax revenues to go to charter schools ultimately
        failed to pass the legislature.
                                                                        DO IT FOR THE KIDS: Thousands of students, parents, and educators
     •	 A bill that would have allowed the Governor more control        showed up to lobby legislators on bills that would have empowered
        over state judicial nominating commissions died after           parents to turn their child’s failing public school into a charter school.

                                                                                                         www.jamesmadison.org      The Messenger     11
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                                                                                                   Permit No. 640


             P.O. Box 37460
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             850-386-3131 Phone
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             www.jamesmadison.org




 reTurn serVICe reQuesTed




Have You Seen or                                               “The James Madison Institute is a
Heard Us?                                                      leading voice for liberty in Florida,
Since October 2011, media where                                advancing the limited government,
JMI has been seen and heard
                                                               free market principles that are helping
include:
                                                               to put Floridians back to work. With
In Print and Online                                            JMI near the capitol, we have a strong
Florida Current
Florida Times Union (Jacksonville)                             advocate for common sense in our
Ft. Myers News Press                                           state’s government.” – Rick Scott,
Gainesville Sun
Lakeland Ledger                                                Governor of Florida
Miami Examiner
Miami Herald
Marco Island Eagle                     “JMI’s ‘Madison Movie Nights’ are a
Naples Daily News                      refreshing way to learn about important
Ocala Star Banner
Orlando Sentinel                       policy issues while spending time with
Sarasota Herald Tribune                friends. The films that are chosen are
Stuart News
South Florida Sun-Sentinel             very informative, but the discussions that
Sunshine State News                    are sparked afterwards are always the
Tallahassee Democrat
Tampa Bay Times                        highlight of the evening. By the end of
Tampa Tribune                          the night everyone is left with a renewed
TC Palm
West Palm Beach Examiner               perspective, as well as a list of facts that
National and                           can be used to combat everyday liberal
International Media                    arguments.” – Kayla Westbrook, Chair of the Florida State
AFL-CIO (website)
Americans For Prosperity (website)
                                       University College Republicans
Associated Press
Chicago Tribune                      The Nation                            WINK-CBS (Fort Myers)
The Chronicle (Willimantic, CT)      Reason Online                         WMTV-NBC 15 (Madison, WI)
The Daily Camera (Boulder, CO)       The Republic (Columbus, IN)           WSAW-CBS (Wasau, WI)
Examiner.com                         Republican-American (Waterbury, CT)   WTFX-FOX 4 (Fort Myers)
Greenville News (South Carolina)     Washington Post                       WXOW-ABC 19 (LaCrosse, WI)
Heartlander-Health Care News         Wisconsin State Journal               WZVN-ABC 7 (Fort Myers)
Huffington Post
Kansas City Star                     Television                            Radio
Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, WI)     MSNBC                                 BobHarden.com (Naples)
Targeted News Service (Washington)   WBBH-NBC 2 (Fort Myers)               WFSU 88.9 FM (Tallahassee)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel           WCTV-CBS (Tallahassee)                W7AQ 97.5 FM (Green Bay, WI)

				
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