It is popular rhetoric Republicans favor decreasing regulation and reducing the size of government. Nothing could be further from the truth here in Florida as Republicans prepare for their 2014 legislative session in March. Take for instance a bill to be heard this morning by Republican Florida Rep Ronald Renuart. He introduced a bill to thwart the free market by restricting the types and language of insurance contracts dentists would be able to accept, inhibiting a dentist's ability to run their practice without additional interference from the State of Florida.
Republican State Senator Garrett Richter has introduced a bill to further regulate money services businesses in the State of Florida. The bill is sailing through committees, most recently late yesterday, to further restrict the deferred payment option available to Floridians and increase penalties for not being prompt enough with paperwork to the state.
Another example would be Republican Bill Hager's bill to further regulate halfway houses where people are transitioning from jail or drug sentencing to getting back into regular society. Hager proudly says, "This is an entire licensing program to ensure those who operate the facilities know what they're doing." However nothing in the bill denotes a requirement of competency to run a halfway house, or 'sober house' as it is being referred to. The bill is simply another layer of bureaucracy and tax income for the state.
Republican Dan Raulerson even wants to add a State Poet Laureate to the Department of State's official position roster - at what cost to tax payers the bill does not show.
Of the 876 bills filed for the session to date, none were found to repeal any state laws, only to add to the Florida Statutes, and many were to change existing laws to increase the penalties or scope of those existing laws.
And let us not forget the millions of tax payer dollars that go to corporations in the form of corporate welfare. Republicans across the state use Florida tax payer money as if it were an addictive drug to attract or keep businesses in the state.
But it's not all bad. Florida Republican Representative Greg Steub has introduced a bill to reduce on commercial rents. And Republican Charles Van Zandt has introduced a bill to encourage the federal passage of the Fair Tax.