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Florida

AARP Florida Fights State Revenue Cap

Proposal could cut spending on vital state services and programs

Florida has had a revenue cap on the books since 1994, but it has never kicked in because revenue never exceeded the cap. A Senate staff analysis predicted the proposed amendment, over time, would be "more likely to constrain growth in state revenues" than the current law.

"Over time, the proposed state revenue limitation is more likely to constrain growth in state revenues than the current limitation," according to a Senate staff analysis of Haridopolis' proposal.

McRay disagrees with Amendment 3 supporters who say it would probably be 2019 or 2020 before the revenue cap would impose cuts in state spending. He said it is "likely to be much sooner and a lot more severe."

Limiting state revenues would require cuts in aid to local government, spending on schools and a wide variety of health and social services, McRay said.

Older Floridians should be especially wary of the impact that future revenue reductions would have on services such as Medicaid assistance to pay for nursing home care, Meals on Wheels and programs supporting Alzheimer's patients and their loved ones, he said.

Public interest advocate Brad Ashwell of Tallahassee is coordinating a campaign to defeat Amendment 3.

"It really doesn't lead to more responsible spending," Ashwell said. "It doesn't lead to better government. It just ties the hands of our legislature, and it leads to more cuts."

McRay said, "Amendment 3 is a wolf in sheep's clothing. AARP Florida urges all of our members to vote against this dangerous proposal."

John C. Van Gieson is a veteran news reporter and writer living in Tallahassee, Fla.

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