Rep. Scott Plakon’s Florida Health Care Freedom Act is back and is being personally sponsored by Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolis. The bill, HJR1 is a rarity in that senate presidents do not normally sponsor bills. Pinellas representative Lawrence Ahern is also a co-sponsor.
The Florida Health Care Freedom Act from last session was to be Amendment Nine on the November ballot but was disqualified by the Florida Supreme Court. ( view the text of the bill at : http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_h0001__.docx&DocumentType=Bill&BillNumber=0001&Session=2011)
That disqualification led to a campaign against Justices LaBarga and Perry by several groups including FL TAC where voters were encouraged to vote NO to retain these justices on the court. Regrettably, this campaign failed but the retention votes were less than the usual per centage justices normally obtain. Florida’s justices should be on notice that retention is no longer a given for them and we in the Liberty movement are watching them and monitoring their decisions.
It is said that this year’s Florida legislature will have the most “conservative” senate body yet. What this will mean for state sovereignty legislation remains to be seen. However, it is encouraging to see Mr. Haridopolis’ support of HJR1 and hopefully this is a preview of more support for additional sovereignty legislation. The press is slanting the senate’s conservatism as meaning they will be somewhat less than deliberative. This view is widely accepted by the media in light of the legislature’s overwhelming veto proof GOP majority. FL TAC suggests another view of this majority and its advantages- it is also an opportunity for the legislature to show they are deliberative and will not use their majority in the same crazed way Democrats legislated in the general government with the overwhelming majority they have exploited since 2006.
The legislature’s approach to nationalized health care can already be seen as deliberative and measured. Incoming House Speaker Dean Cannon advised Governor Crist and various state agencies to not enact policy related to the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)” without legislative review. Mr. Cannon’s letter of October 19,2010 begins:
“Dear Governor Crist:
In March, 2010, the 111th Congress enacted and President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which nationalized numerous functions of state government. Currently, parts of Florida’s executive branch are implementing the PPACA, while another part of Florida’s executive branch has initiated litigation that challenges the constitutionality of the PPACA.
The executive branch agencies implementing the law are doing so without waiting for clear and comprehensive guidance from the Legislature, the entity solely responsible for policymaking under Florida’s constitution. The activities of state agencies to respond to the federal law are widespread and numerous. The most serious involvement includes development of systems and capabilities for executing authority implied by the federal law, even though the authority for such actions may not be present in current state statutes.”
In closing, Mr. Cannon goes on to write;
“The lack of state executive leadership on these important issues compels a more proactive role by the Legislature in monitoring Florida’s involvement in implementation of PPACA. Consequently, this letter serves as notification to all state agencies that we expect their compliance with the following procedures.
1. No later than November 15, 2010, submit a complete accounting of all PPACA-related activities to-date.
2. The inventory of activities must include a complete description of the specific activity, an explanation of any particular benefit to Florida from the activity, identification of state employees involved, specification of the amount of employee time spent, enumeration of any expenditure of funds associated with the activity, and estimation of any future state costs resulting from the activity.
3. After November 15, 2010, any new activities related to PPACA should be initiated only after notification and consultation with the Legislature.
We intend to develop a clear and statutorily-defined framework for Florida agencies’ activities in regard to the federal health law. Pending such legislative action, state agencies should examine each anticipated action or function in light of their specific statutory authority. The Legislature will carefully consider agency legislative proposals involving the new federal health care system.” ( See the complete letter at http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/dean-cannon-fires-letter-charlie-crist-over-health-care-law )
Making unconstitutional general government legislation very difficult to impossible to implement is often a key part of making such legislation null, void and of no force within a sovereign state. Hopefully, this will be one of the outcomes of Mr. Cannon’s letter.
Taken in totality, the actions of Mr. Cannon and Mr. Haridopolis regarding national healthcare are very promising. Kudos to Mr. Plakon for not wasting any time in re-introducing the Health Care Freedom Act legislation.
As quick as we are to take office holders to task, we also like to let them know when we approve of their actions. Please take a moment to let these legislators know their efforts on behalf of Health Care Freedom are appreciated and that they have your support. All of these legislators have a Face Book page where you can message them. Members of the Florida House can be reached via: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/representatives.aspx Members of the Florida Senate can be reached via http://www.flsenate.gov/Legislators/index.cfm?Tab=legislators&CFID=238012659&CFTOKEN=51897855 Senator Haridopolis can also be reached at email@example.com.
cross-posted from the Florida Tenth Amendment Center