2014 Legislative Session Loser: Rep. Marlene O’Toole

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It’s hard to find a bigger loser than Marlene O’Toole this legislative session.

She singlehandedly blocked the Money Course, a favorite of this blogger, which would have required a financial literacy course in high school.

The measure would have required the Florida Department of Education to work with nonprofit organizations to develop standards, curriculum and professional development guidelines for teaching financial literacy. Who knows — this could have benefited not only the next generation of Floridians, but perhaps also their teachers and parents in the process.

What’s worse? O’Toole told the Associated Press she supported it but didn’t have time to hear it in her committee.

You know who that pissed off? The Florida Chamber of Commerce, CFO Jeff Atwater, the Florida Council on Economic Education, the Florida Bankers Association, the Business Section of the Florida Bar, the Florida Prosperity Partnership, and any other rational person watching this bill.

HB 367, sponsored by Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen and cosponsored by, oh, just a bipartisan coalition of more than a third of the entire House, never had a hearing.

Meanwhile, its companion bill (SB 212), sponsored by Sen. Dorothy Hukill, made its way through two committees before halting on April 9 — due to the House’s failure to do its part.

If O’Toole doesn’t fix this next year, she will secure herself a position in the Saint Petersblog Losers Hall of Fame.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.