By JAVIER MANJARRESWith the 2013 legislative session over, Speaker Will Weatherford continues his ‘listening tour’ around the state of Florida, hoping to better understand the concerns and ideas of Floridians, before the legislature’s Fall committee hearings begin.
On an early morning phone call with Speaker Weatherford, I asked him what he thought would be the top issues discussed during the 2014 legislative session. Weatherford said that aside from the budget, he thought education and healthcare would probably be at the top of the agenda.
He is probably right, considering that 2014 will be the year when Obamacare is supposed to be fully implemented nationwide, but probably not in Florida, as Weatherford and his colleagues in the state legislature passed the 2014 state budget that did not include funding for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
State Democrats, with the probable help from the likes of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, will most likely have something else to say about the issue after Governor Rick Scott said he would not call a special session in the state legislature to address Medicaid expansion.
On the issue of Education and the growing Common Core standards debate, Weatherford, said that, while he “is not in favor of a national education curriculum,” and understands the “legitimate concerns” about Common Core’s data mining efforts, he feels that there is “a lot of misinformation” being circulated about the education standards. Just last month, Senator Marco Rubio stated that he opposed Common Core.“No one wants a national education curriculum,” he added.
Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz have already come out in opposition of replacing FCAT testing with a Common Core standards test.
Weatherford stated that the answer to the Leftist socialist agenda is to focus on a world class educational system, which he believes is the key to getting Americans off welfare.
“This is the arms race of the 21st century, we have to make sure we lead the world in education.”- Speaker Will Weatherford
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