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Democrats blast Steve Crisafulli’s decision to end Florida House session 3 days early

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Although the budget impasse between the Legislature that led Speaker Steve Crisafulli to dismiss the House this afternoon illustrates the enmity between Republicans in the House & Senate, Democrats who have been advocating for the state to expand Medicaid coverage are happy to bash Crisafulli.

“Today, the House leadership and the majority party failed Floridians,” said New Port Richey Democratic state Rep. Amanda Murphy. “As elected officials, we have one constitutionally required obligation: to pass a balanced budget. Leadership today unilaterally decided to walk away from the negotiating table, creating D.C.-style dysfunction and leaving Florida’s fiscal future uncertain.”

Taking note of Budget Chairman Richard Corcoran’s call earlier this month for the House to “go to war” against special interests, Murphy said a few members in House leadership instead have “focused their war efforts against the hardworking citizens of Florida. Leadership put their own special interests above those of our children, neighbors, and seniors.”

“There are no winners in today’s decision to adjourn three days early,” Murphy added. “House leadership should be ashamed at the decision and the extra tax dollars that are going to have to be spent to start the budget process all over again,” she said.

Tampa freshman Democrat Ed Narain said he was “deeply concerned” by Crisafulli’s move, and brought it back to the topic that’s led to the impasse — Medicaid expansion.

Saying that the House “failed our most vulnerable citizens,” Narain said that the expansion of Medicaid “should have been a top priority and instead has become an ideological wedge that has stopped this session from being productive.”

St. Petersburg House Democrat Dwight Dudley tweeted that, “Game of chicken on steroids enters a new chapter. Florida House adjourns Sine Die The war escalates .Florida Taxpayers held hostage.”

Tampa House Democrat Janet Cruz tweeted, “Mucho Macho” Florida house adjourns Sine Die.”

Earlier Democratic House Minority Leader Mark Pafford said that he respected Crisafulli’s decision, and instead saved his vitriol for Gov. Rick Scott.

“It’s clear Gov. Scott has shown zero leadership and has only served to make things worse,” he said in a written statement. “I hope Speaker Crisafulli and President (Andy) Gardiner will work together to come up with a special session call that represents the interests of the people of Florida. We don’t need Gov. Scott, never elected by a majority, to set the agenda for our Legislature.”

“Only House Republicans would give themselves a vacation after denying 800,000 working Floridians access to health care,” Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant said in a statement. “Floridians deserve better.”

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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