Thursday, November 8, 2018

Florida is the big winner in the Mid-Term Elections.


For now, the problem will be keeping DeSantis focused on Florida and not on Trump and the 2020 presidential nomination process.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.
The voters of Florida turned out in record numbers for the mid-term elections. While Florida is a divided state as indicated by the close elections for Senate, Governor and the Florida Legislature common sense seemed to have prevailed, and the state will not move toward a liberal, “progressive” governance.
If Rick Scott’s lead holds up in the recount, Florida will finally have some representation in the Senate that is not beholding to everyone who waves a campaign dollar in his face. It will take Scott some time to make the transition from a big fish in a small pond to a little fish in the polluted waters of Washington politics. Scott’s work ethic and his ability to be politically independent should serve Florida well, just as it did in his two terms a governor.
While Ron DeSantis, whom I supported, is a bit of an unknown as a political and administrative leader, we can expect there will not be a sea change in how Florida does business, at least not in the near term.
Most telling will be the role DeSantis assigns to Jeanette Nunez, his Lieutenant Governor. Nunez is no stranger to politics, she is a healthcare businesswoman and Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives. If DeSantis brings her in and begins assigning key roles and responsibilities to her, it will be an early signal that he is looking at a potential shot at the vice presidency in 2020.
In the Legislature, it looks like DeSantis will have some strong support, and I would expect his approach to the Legislature should be a bit more collegiate than Rick Scott’s.
Look for DeSanctis to make a strong first rush at the environmental issues he outlined is his campaign platform. See my post Ron DeSantis on the Environment. Will the Legislature follow?
Florida dodged a bullet this election. A radical shift to the left led by a progressive socialist with questionable background would have been devastating for our state. And George Soros got exactly what he deserved for buying Gillum the nomination – a loss.
The political topology of Florida is changing much in line with what we are seeing nationally. In four years if the Democrats can nominate someone who is not being investigated for corruption and has Andrew Gillum’s charisma you might just start to see the state turn blue.
For now, the problem will be keeping DeSantis focused on Florida and not on Trump and the 2020 presidential nomination process.
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
See Doc's Photo Gallery at 
Bay Post Photos.  
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Monday, November 5, 2018

Election Day is Tomorrow November 6, 2018

Are you ready to vote?

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: 
E. Eugene Webb PhD

Here are few useful links as you form your opinion and try to better understand what each proposed Constitutional amendment will do!

The League of Women Voters and this pdf from Florida Tax Watch give great insight on each amendment, along with their recommendation on how to vote on each. They also explain the implications for voting for or against each amendment.

Florida Association of Counties offers a quick explanation for each proposal, along with analysis of how some of the amendments will impact county governments if they’re approved. Click on each amendment to learn more and to read editorials on the topic from the state’s largest papers.

Below is a handy table with recommended votes based on my research of various political sites, newspapers and Blogs.

There is a column to record your vote and you can print it and take it with you to speed up your voting process at the polls.

2018 PROPOSED FLORIDA CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
YOUR
VOTE
1
Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption
YES
2
Limitations on Property Tax Assessments
YES
3
Voter Control of Gambling in Florida
YES
4
Voting Restoration Amendment
NO
5
Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees
YES
6
Rights of Crime Victims; Judges
NO
7
First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities
YES
8
REMOVED
9
Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces
YES
10
State and Local Government Structure and Operation
YES
11
Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes
YES
12
Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers
YES
13
Ends Dog Racing
YES

Below is the official description of the proposed constitutional Amendments  

Proposed Constitutional Amendments
No. 1 Constitutional Amendment - Affects: Article VII, Section 6 Article XII, Section 37 
Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption - Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to increase the homestead exemption by exempting the assessed valuation of homestead property greater than $100,000 and up to $125,000 for all levies other than school district levies. The amendment shall take effect January 1, 2019.

No. 2 Constitutional Amendment - Affects: Article XII, Section 27 
Limitations on Property Tax Assessments - Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to permanently retain provisions currently in effect, which limit property tax assessment increases on specified non-homestead real property, except for school district taxes, to 10 percent each year. If approved, the amendment removes the scheduled repeal of such provisions in 2019 and shall take effect January 1, 2019.

No. 3 Constitutional Amendment - Affects: Article X, Section 29
Voter Control of Gambling in Florida - This amendment ensures that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gambling to be authorized under Florida law, it must be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Affects articles X and XI. Defines casino gambling and clarifies that this amendment does not conflict with federal law regarding state/tribal compacts.
The amendment’s impact on state and local government revenues and costs, if any, cannot be determined at this time because of its unknown effect on gambling operations that have not been approved by voters through a constitutional amendment proposed by a citizens’ initiative petition process.

No. 4 Constitutional Amendment - Affects: Article VI, Section 4
Voting Restoration Amendment - This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis.
The precise effect of this amendment on state and local government costs cannot be determined, but the operation of current voter registration laws, combined with an increased number of felons registering to vote, will produce higher overall costs relative to the processes in place today. The impact, if any, on state and local government revenues cannot be determined. The fiscal impact of any future legislation that implements a different process cannot be reasonably determined.

No. 5 Constitutional Amendment - Affects: Article VII, Section 19
Supermajority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees - Prohibits the legislature from imposing, authorizing, or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature in a bill containing no other subject. This proposal does not authorize a state tax or fee otherwise prohibited by the Constitution and does not apply to fees or taxes imposed or authorized to be imposed by a county, municipality, school board, or special district.

No. 6 Constitutional Revision - Affects: Article I, Section 16, Article V, Sections 8 and 21, Article XII, New Section
Rights of Crime Victims; Judges - Creates constitutional rights for victims of crime; requires courts to facilitate victims’ rights; authorizes victims to enforce their rights throughout criminal and juvenile justice processes. Requires judges and hearing officers to independently interpret statutes and rules rather than deferring to government agency’s interpretation. Raises mandatory retirement age of state justices and judges from seventy to seventy-five years; deletes authorization to complete judicial term if one-half of term has been served by retirement age.

No. 7 Constitutional Revision - Affects: Article IX, Sections 7 and 8, Article X, New Section
First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities - Grants mandatory payment of death benefits and waiver of certain educational expenses to qualifying survivors of certain first responders and military members who die performing official duties. Requires supermajority votes by university trustees and state university system board of governors to raise or impose all legislatively authorized fees if law requires approval by those bodies. Establishes existing state college system as constitutional entity; provides governance structure.

No. 8 Removed

No. 9 Constitutional Revision - Affects: Article II, Section 7, Article X, Section 20
Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces - Prohibits drilling for the exploration or extraction of oil and natural gas beneath all state-owned waters between the mean high water line and the state’s outermost territorial boundaries. Adds use of vapor-generating electronic devices to current prohibition of tobacco smoking in enclosed indoor workplaces with exceptions; permits more restrictive local vapor ordinances.

No. 10 Constitutional Revision - Affects: Article III, Section 3, Article IV, Sections 4 and 11, Article VIII, Sections 1 and 6
State and Local Government Structure and Operation -Requires legislature to retain department of veterans’ affairs. Ensures election of sheriffs, property appraisers, supervisors of elections, tax collectors, and clerks of court in all counties; removes county charters’ ability to abolish, change term, transfer duties, or eliminate election of these offices. Changes annual legislative session commencement date in even-numbered years from March to January; removes legislature’s authorization to fix another date. Creates office of domestic security and counter terrorism within department of law enforcement.

No. 11 Constitutional Revision - Affects: Article I, Section 2, Article X, Sections 9 and 19
Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes - Removes discriminatory language related to real property rights. Removes obsolete language repealed by voters. Deletes provision that amendment of a criminal statute will not affect prosecution or penalties for a crime committed before the amendment; retains current provision allowing prosecution of a crime committed before the repeal of a criminal statute.

No. 12 Constitutional Revision - Affects: Article II, Section 8, Article V, Section 13, Article XII, New Section
Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers - Expands current restrictions on lobbying for compensation by former public officers; creates restrictions on lobbying for compensation by serving public officers and former justices and judges; provides exceptions; prohibits abuse of a public position by public officers and employees to obtain a personal benefit.

No. 13 Constitutional Revision - Affects: Article X, New Section, Article XII, New Section
Ends Dog Racing - Phases out commercial dog racing in connection with wagering by 2020. Other gaming activities are not affected.

LOCAL BALLOT QUESTIONS
For City and County Ballot initiatives and Referendums check your local County Supervisor Elections web site

Pinellas County Located at the bottom of the page
City of Clearwater, City of Madeira Beach, City of St. Petersburg, City of St. Pete Beach, Town of Redington Beach, City of Tarpon Springs
Hillsborough County Amendments and Referendums at the bottom of the Page
Manatee County  You will need to fill out some voter information
Sarasota County  Sample Ballots are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. Acrobat Reader is available by clicking a link on the site.  

This election is extremely important. These Ballot questions are key to Florida and your local jurisdictions future. Be sure to vote on all of the state and local ballot initiatives. 
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.  
Disclosures:

Please comment below

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Ron DeSantis: Building a Healthier Florida


Ron DeSantis: Tear Down Barriers and Empower Patients








St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.


A New Challenge for a New Time
By 2020, official estimates predict Florida will have a population of 26.5 million people with 20 percent over the age of 65.  As our population grows and ages, our health care system must adapt and evolve.  Ron DeSantis understands that a one-size-fits-all solution will not meet the diverse needs of our state.  Ron DeSantis believes that we must contain costs in order to expand access and protect the quality of our health care system.
Empower Patients
Floridians have more choices in picking out their cellphone plans than their health insurance plans. Every day in the grocery store, we make decisions about what we want to buy, weighing price, necessity, and quality, and deciding what’s right for us. But, when it comes to something as important as health care, we have fewer choices and less information.  Government, insurance companies, and the health care bureaucracy have, by accident or by design, created a system difficult to understand, hard to navigate and impossible to control.  Ron DeSantis wants to tear down those barriers and empower patients. He wants to look past the 20th Century paradigm of employer-provided insurance vs. government-provided insurance. On the health care train, Ron DeSantis believes the patient should be the conductor, not the passenger.  We live in a large, diverse state and Floridians have different needs and wants.  In health care, one-size doesn’t have to fit all.
As Governor, Ron DeSantis will ensure every patient has:
The Right to Buy the health care plan that works best for them and their families. We can accomplish this by modernizing Florida’s insurance laws so patients have access to non-traditional products, like expanded, direct physician care agreements or tailored plans, like short-term coverage or limited-benefit plans. Ron DeSantis will push the Federal government to allow for expanded use of association health plans and to change Federal tax laws to allow individuals to carry their own individual health plans from employer to employer.
The Right to Know how much their health care really costs by aggressively implementing Florida’s groundbreaking health price transparency law and giving Floridians real-time information about actual prices and outcomes.
The Right to Shop for lower cost health care options by incentivizing insurance companies to share some of the savings they realize with the patient in the form of cash payments.
The Right to Quality health care by resisting any effort to ration health care by giving bureaucrats in Tallahassee control over personal health decisions.
Protect Access for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions
Ron DeSantis believes that no person should be denied access to medical care based on the existence of a pre-existing condition.  It has been a well-settled Federal law for more than 20 years that insurance companies may not exclude a pre-existing condition from coverage nor charge higher premiums for an insured who moves from one health plan to another.  The recent issue related to pre-existing conditions has focused on a smaller group – people with serious health problems who are uninsured and are now mandated by Federal law to purchase insurance.  Should a Federal court strike down the protections afforded to this subgroup or should Congress repeal the law, Ron DeSantis will work to ensure hard-to-insure Floridians with significant health needs have access to coverage by creating a more diverse, robust insurance market that will enable and encourage Floridians to buy insurance before they get sick.
Expand the Reach of Our Providers
A strong system requires strong components, and for Florida’s health care system that means expanded training and better retention of health care workers, particularly doctors and nurses.   We should partner with our universities and medical schools to bring the highest-quality programs and the most cutting-edge research to Florida.  Ron DeSantis wants Florida to become a national leader in medical innovation by allowing hospitals and doctors to use state-of-the-art technology, like telemedicine.  In our globally-connected world, no Floridian should go untreated because of a lack of access to specialists.
Support Our Seniors
Ron DeSantis hopes all Floridians are able to lead long, happy, healthy and productive lives.  However, as we age, we face challenges from the worsening of chronic diseases to age-related conditions, like dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.  Ron DeSantis will fight to keep Florida’s network of senior services – from community access to home care to assisted-living facilities to nursing homes – ready and able to meet the needs of our seniors.
Maintain Our Social Safety Net
Ron DeSantis recognizes government has an obligation to those who are truly unable to help themselves.  He will continue to support Florida’s longstanding tradition of providing access to health care and social services for economically-distressed pregnant women, children, persons with disabilities, persons suffering from catastrophic illnesses and seniors.  Ron DeSantis will also keep Florida’s network of safety-net hospitals strong and armed with the resources they need to continue providing high-quality care to those Floridians unable to pay.  He will advocate for expanded access to and early intervention of mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.
Respect Taxpayers’ Money
Florida spends more public money (41.7 percent) on health and human services than on any part of the state budget, which means there is a greater risk of inefficiency, waste, fraud and abuse.  As Governor, Ron DeSantis will fight to ensure Floridians see real value for their public investment.  He will continue to support Florida’s groundbreaking Medicaid managed-care model, which has helped to curb the growth of that entitlement program.  He will also aggressively combat fraud in Medicaid and other health and human services programs.  No one – no individual, no doctor, no insurance company – is above the law.
Help Floridians Struggling with Opioid Addiction
Florida has recently made some strong first steps in addressing the opioid addiction crisis but much work remains.  As Governor, Ron DeSantis will advocate for expanded access to and early intervention of mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. He will work with our local partners to leverage local resources.  Numerous communities, civic and religious organizations throughout the state assist victims of addiction. Rather than duplicating those efforts, Ron DeSantis will help these local organizations to develop best practices, facilitate resource sharing and identify new avenues for financial support.  He will also seek federal-state partnerships to bring new dollars to opioids fight, while ensuring we are measuring the real-world effectiveness of our programs.  He will also finish implementing Florida’s medical marijuana constitutional amendment so sufferers of chronic pain have access to an alternative to the use of opioids.  As Governor, Ron DeSantis will not let the Washington or Tallahassee bureaucracy get in the way of helping those in need.
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.  
Disclosures:

Please comment below