July at Abacoa with Senator Joe Negron and Representative Mary Lynn Magar
Representing the far northern communities of Palm Beach County, including Jupiter and Tequesta, the Republican team of Senator Joe Negron and Representative Mary Lynn Magar provided us with their perspective on this year’s legislative session and the issues of interest to the audience.
Representative Magar represents house district 82, consisting of Jupiter/Tequesta and the southern part of Martin County. Her day job is VP and General Manager of Heart Care Imaging, and she addressed the issues surrounding health care in the state, including the House decision to reject the federal medicare expansion, legislation to increase access to the medicaid program by the elderly, and assistance to those afflicted with spinal cord injury. She highlighted some of her sponsored bills in the area of helping businesses collect on bad checks, and attracting manufacturers with a sales tax moratorium on equipment purchases, which she says helps us compete with other states in the Southeast.
Taking a few questions, she promised to “look into” the core curriculum status (which was signed into law under Charley Crist and not on the session agenda this year), and she thought “local is good” regarding planning decisions under 7/50.
Senator Negron, represents district 32 – the coastal communities from Jupiter / Tequesta north to Vero Beach. He hit briefly on three topics and then took some questions in a free flowing conversation. He first discussed the “stand your ground” statute in the context of the Zimmerman case, and said he does not want to see any changes to the law. Then he mentioned his “drone bill”, which limits the use of unmanned aircraft by law enforcment except in limited circumstances, and explained it in the context of the balance between liberty and security. He also addressed the “public right to speak” bill which enables citizen input at meetings of public officials, which many cities and counties opposed.
Addressing issues of interest to the audience, he gave his view of the “tea party” – not a monolithic point of view but a decentralized body of opinion that reflects the diversity of its members. He was an early supporter of e-verify in the state (which didn’t pass), and believes that businesses should not be overly dependent on illegal labor. He explained his view of medicaid expansion (which unlike the House bill would have accepted federal money), and explained (in answer to a question) that currently Florida does not provide medical care to illegals except in the case of 1) pregnancy and delivery, and 2) emergency care.
Other items at the meeting included the announcent that current PBCTP President Mike Riordan is stepping down to focus more time on his business. The board will carry on until he can be replaced. Member Joel Channing also introduced Mike Stetson of the Pacific Legal Foundation. The foundation had just won the Supreme Court case Koontz v St. Johns River Water Management District and Mike spoke a little bit about the case and PLF. He also described PLF’s ongoing case against Obamacare challenging it on the origination clause: Now that the individual mandate has been declared a ‘tax’, the bill originated in the Senate and all taxes must originate in the House.
2014 candidates attending the meeting included Alan Schlesinger (CD18) and Brandon Cannon (FS32).
Some pictures from Fred and Ed: