Governor Crist gives his “State of the State” speech tomorrow night at 6:00 … and for the first time since I’ve lived in the state of Florida, I may not be able to watch.
Not to say I might not record it and watch it later, but at 6:00 tomorrow, I’ll be at a networking event, working the room, making the connections that will eventually lead to a new career, or at the very least help me when I find it. The economy that should be the focus of the speech will be the reason I won’t be around to watch.
The state legislature faces daunting challenges this session. On the news tonight were stories about potentially draconian cuts in school budgets due to the economy. Governor Crist will probably announce plans to use federal stimulus money to plug some of the budget gaps. I’d like to be able to sit across the table from him again to ask about the wisdom of using one-time dollars for recurring expenses. I know we’re all hoping for a quick economic recovery, but with the Dow slipping well below 7,000 today for the first time in decades, maybe holding one’s breath isn’t such a great idea.
Meanwhile, there was this quote from House-Speaker-Designate Dean Cannon (R-Winter Park) in the “Capital Update” blog in The Tallahassee Democrat:
“Some look at these complex problems and see a simple solution — more money. They argue that we simply need to raise taxes and spend our way out of our current problems. They seem to believe there’s a magical dollar figure — although no one has ever shared with me what it is — that if we could just spend the right amount our problems would fade away. I know the magic number isn’t $73 billion, because that’s what we spent during my second session, and I still heard every conceivable interest group claim they were underfunded.”
And so it begins.
Along with the stories about shrinking school budgets was the story that Jaxport has shelved plans for a cruise terminal in Mayport for the time being. The Jaxport board cited uncertain economic times as the principal reason they wouldn’t be seeking rezoning on the waterfront properties where the terminal would be built. One of the Mayport residents I saw interviewed said “it’s over”, which is probably far from the case. But for now, it’s on the back burner. It’d be prudent now to watch the fate of the Mayport Ferry … which is now indefinitely out of service. The return date on the signs have been covered over by duct tape. Not a good omen.
Five minutes to post and not miss today. I’ve really got to start writing earlier.