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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Republicans create solutions where there weren't any problems: go after trans children and teacher's unions.

 In this session, the Republicans in the Florida Legislature have found one solution after another for problems that don't exist. Still, in doing so, they have caused problems, hardships, and grief. Last week they went after Trans children, and this week they are going after teacher's unions.

Last week the Florida House passed HB 1475, dubbed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, and it passed 77-40, with all but one Democrat voting against it. This is a solution without a problem, as the Orlando Sentinel reported only a handful of trans children have played high school sports in Florida. Furthermore, when asked the bill's sponsor, Kaylee Tuck couldn't point to where this was a problem in Florida.

So what's the Florida Legislatures's solution? It is to ban transgender athletes from participating in girls' sports and to inspect children's genitalia should there be any doubt. Let me say that again. The Florida legislature has passed a bill that calls for the inspection of children's genitalia. Whether they play sports or not, our most vulnerable children have heard loud and clear that they are not worthy.

Then this week, a little closer to home Cord Byrd's anti-teacher union bill comes up for a vote. The bill would end automatic deductions for teacher's unions but not for police, fire, and prison guard unions. Florida is already a right-to-work state, and teachers have to request the withdraws, but that's not good enough for Byrd and his ilk and Tallahassee. This bill is nothing but yet another attack against the teaching profession, and as Byrd runs for state Senate in 2022, I hope people remember this.

In the last presidential election, Trump won 51 percent of the vote and Biden 48 percent (rounded), yet despite that, we have 65-35, Republican-Democratic representation in Tallahassee. When Republicans have such an overwhelming advantage due to gerrymandering, we don't get bills that move the state forward; we get bills that address imagined grievances and made-up problems to gin up the base. We get bills that hurt people and solutions for nonexistent problems.

1 comment:

  1. The recent "Answer Sheet" column by Valerie Strauss in The Washington Post had a very telling quote from former charter school lobbyist:

    "They also work to undermine collective action in the form of unions, voting blocs, protests and more. To them, it’s equally immoral for a union to demand higher wages of a business owner as it is for voters to impose a higher minimum wage on business owners. The same people pushing for school privatization are the same ones pushing for voter suppression, and that’s why. They fear the power of people."

    I highly recommend everyone read the article. He details how a the push for school privatization is not something the people actually want, so they have to work around that.