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Haridopolos: Florida Offers Stability, Not Stimulus

September 26, 2011 - 6:00pm

The best thing the Florida Legislature can do to create jobs is keep the states economy stable, Senate President Mike Haridopolos said Tuesday.

Our goal has always been to offer stability to job-makers, entrepreneurs, the risk-takers around the state and the nation, he said, while speaking on WFLA 100.7 FMs The Morning Show, Tuesday.

We know were not going to have a big spending stimulus plan," Haridopolos added. "First of all, we dont believe in that philosophy, and second we dont have the money. So what we tried to offer is stability.

His comments came as the U.S. Census Bureaureported thatFlorida received the third lowest amount of money, per capita, from the federal government in 2010 in areas that included agriculture, education, health and human services, housing, and urban development andtransportation.

Only Nevada and Virginia got less federal funds.

Haridopolos defended the state's stance on accepting federal money bynoting thata sign the state has been moving in the right direction came in July when Standard & Poor's upgraded Floridas credit rating to AAA status, which lowers Floridas loan costs.

Meanwhile, Haridopolossaid he is waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to release an agenda for the 2012 session.

The governor has about 1,200 pages worth of regulations he wants to attack and were waiting to see those, Haridopolos said. And were going to go after those much like we reformed the growth-management laws last year. I thought that was a good first step, much like we reformed our education system, removing some of that bureaucracy.

Thats something where the expertise of Rick Scott as a successful businessman will be really helpful and clearly that is the goal: remove impediments to job growth wherever theyre created by government.

Haridopolos also repeated earlier comments he made that the Senate will vote on expanding casino gambling in Florida in the upcoming session; again, vote on immigration reform that the House failed to take up earlier this year; and look at eliminating tenure for professors as part of an overhaul of the state university system.

Im fine with eliminating tenure, its not one of my goals to have tenure, said Haridopolos, an untenured history professor at the University of Florida.

Ive never been the most popular man on the university campus. I get great class reviews, but Im not the most popular professor among fellow professors, who tend to be left-of-center as opposed to right-of-center," Haridopolos said. "But lets have the debate. In this modern time where every job is precious, lets justify why tenure is important. We should not just protect for protection's sake, but if its truly to protect it for academic freedom, I think everyone could support that.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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