Public heard on budget?

The State Legislature of Florida
claimed it offered a public hearing
on the budget crisis during the
special session that occurred during
the first week of January 2009.

The Florida Legislature claimed it had a public hearing for the special session it held during the first week of January of 2009.

The Legislature called it a public hearing, when in reality it was not a public hearing. Calling it a public hearing was and is a false claim.

The Republican led legislature announced there would be a public hearing one day before the hearing was to take place. In all actuality, the legislature knew that people across the state would not be able to attend. In reality, I was not invited, as many others were not invited.

Stephanie Keime and Lisa Richardson are parents of children in the Miami-Dade public school system. Stephanie said she "could not get to Tallahassee". As a result she and Lisa produced a short film called Florida Funding Funeral. The video featured a group of somber children placing their soccer balls, books, and other school items into a coffin. The headstone reads "Here lies our dreams". The video was on YouTube.

The number of concerned parents are numerous.

Colleen Wood of St. Johns County founded, a website that helps parents contact their elected officials.

Bibiana Salmon and Malexys Morales organized the Mothers for Education Hunger Strike. The hunger strike lasted a week.

Liz Schlotzhauer, president of the John A. Ferguson Senior High PTSA helped organize a letter writing campaign to state lawmakers.

Cheri Ball an active member in the county PTSA, organized a parent meeting about the education budget.

A public hearing sounded good for the legislature. But the legislature knew it was not really a public hearing. The State Legislature knew that citizens such as myself and others who may have wanted to attend the session could not attend.

The legislature called it a public hearing, but it knew that the public, would not be able to make it to Tallahassee.

It ws really no public hearing. It was a fake invitation, knowing that the public would not be able to make it.

The Republican majority called it a public hearing, knowing it was not.

Frederick Bryant
January 25, 2009

Kathleen McGrory. The Miami Herald. January 25, 2009, page 1A.