Six in the morning: A six-pack of Florida news tidbits
- Will Florida’s “Health Care Freedom Amendment” help you escape “ObamaCare”? Probably not.
- Gov. Rick Scott’s spokeswoman says his Friday night announcement calling off plans to bring more private campgrounds to Honeymoon Island State Park was not intended to be sneaky, and Scott himself says he’s still mulling what to do about the other parks that face similar proposals.
- Standard and Poor’s boosted Florida’s credit outlook from negative to stable, thanks in parts to lawmakers’ efforts to set aside more money in reserves. Asked about it by a reporter Wednesday, Scott was surprised, but clearly pleased.
- Meanwhile, another credit rating agency, Moody’s Investors Services, is warning that the federal government’s credit rating could be headed in the opposite direction as negotiations over the federal debt limit drag on.
- The American Legislative Exchange Council has been getting lots of attention lately, and now its model legislation has been dumped online.
- The U.S. House approved a plan to strip the EPA of some of its regulatory powers, a measure aimed in part at Florida-specific regulations of nitrogen and phosphorus. The measure is unlikely to get past President Barack Obama’s veto pen, and may never get heard in the Democratic-controlled Senate, but environmental reporter Craig Pittman notes the similarities between Wednesday’s debate and the original debates over the “job killing” Clean Water Act back in 1972:
As we note in “Paving Paradise,” the bill was a bipartisan effort (just like this repeal bill), with the lead sponsors Democratic Sen. Ed Muskie and Republican Sen. Howard Baker. After they got it passed, then-President Richard Nixon vetoed it.
“Nixon said he didn’t object to cleaning up pollution, but rather to the cost—an estimated $24 billion to help cities and counties across the nation stop dumping raw sewage into rivers, bays, and streams,” we wrote. “That was $18 billion more than he wanted to spend.
The bill’s sponsors set out to override the veto — something that had not yet been successfully done during Nixon’s first term. In debate, they contrasted Nixon’s concern for mere dollars with the public’s growing worry about the human cost of coping with a polluted world.
“Can we afford clean water?” Muskie asked his colleagues. “Can we afford rivers and lakes and streams and oceans which continue to make life possible on this planet? Can we afford life itself?”
And Baker asked, “If we cannot swim in our lakes and rivers, if we cannot breathe the air God has given us, what other comforts can life offer us?”
A Florida congressman crossed party lines yesterday — Republican C.W. Bill Young joined the state’s Democrats opposing the measure. See the full vote here.