Roundup of Sunday newspaper editorials

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A year has passed since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 workers and triggered the worst environmental disaster in the nation’s history.
But while the nation’s memory is short, we cannot afford to forget what happened in the Gulf of Mexico and the terrible damage inflicted upon the environment, the economy and countless families from Florida to Louisiana.
One year ago this week, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, killing 11 workers and unleashing the largest offshore oil spill in American history.
With profit and greed driving the urge to cut corners and minimize problems, this disaster demonstrates that the best science and technology in the world can be defeated by man? arrogance.
Lawmakers can’t walk away from the state’s $3.8 billion projected budget deficit. The Legislature has to stand and deliver a balanced budget plan, regardless of how many politically painful choices have to be made.
The GOP effort to cut the budget has prompted cries of extremism from affected interest groups. Opponents of spending cuts don’t seem to realize that government’s role is changing.
These are Republicans, right?
The governor and the legislative leadership?
Then why would they disband one of the most successful public-private partnerships in the state?
Here is a partnership that produces more than $2 in private funding for every $1 in public funding. It was popular with former Gov. Jeb Bush and was a key to turning around the state’s tourism business after Sept. 11, 2001.
Florida Today –Bulldozing the future
The Legislature is rushing to gut Florida? growth-management laws, using the guise of less regulation to spur the economy as cover to end 30 years of bipartisan support to prevent sprawl and protect the environment.
You, the Brevard County and Florida taxpayer, will get stuck with the bill because developers would no longer have to pay their fair share for new roads, schools and other infrastructure that subdivisions and strip malls require.
Lee County? school board committed to hiring a new superintendent by June 1.
The board should not settle for mediocrity. Let? not return to the days of revolving door superintendents in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The Gainesville Sun –The human toll
As they whittle away at critical health and human services in the name of balancing a state budget that is $3.6 billion in the red, lawmakers should remember that behind all the numbers being tossed about is a real human toll.
Yet, numbers are driving the debate in Tallahassee, and there are few examples where the numbers are as eye-popping or illustrative as in the unconscionable Senate proposal to reduce Medicaid funding for Florida hospitals.
Talk about a bad case of spite. The Republican-led Legislature was very unhappy last year when the state Supreme Court tossed out three constitutional amendments sponsored by lawmakers.
To get back at the Florida Supreme Court, they are crafting new amendment proposals that would radically ?and pointlessly ?overhaul that institution.
Collier County commissioners did the right thing the other day when they shelved consideration of a new ordinance dealing with public beach access.
The proposal would require beachfront property owners to allow the public to use sands landward of traditional public access lines if those shores get publicly funded beach renourishment.
Orlando Sentinel –Bitter to the end
Upon hearing the Legislature might extend its 60-day session into May, a wizened Tallahassee watcher last week said, “Too bad. The sooner lawmakers abandon the capital, the better.”

Point taken. The last thing Floridians need is for the Legislature to grant itself an extension, creating even more opportunities for lawmakers to pass their alternately extremist and self-serving agenda.

Proving that timing is everything in politics, state legislators backed off a proposal to kill Florida’s prescription drug database after the Department of Health signed a contract to implement the program – and Gov. Scott got a chance for national attention on the issue.
Pensacola News Journal –It could have been worse
What we do know is that not only is offshore drilling far riskier than we were told ?and the oil industry far less ready to respond to a leak than we were promised ?it remains riskier than the industry or the government want to admit.
Most importantly, we know that this one was not necessarily “the big one.” It could have been worse.
Most Floridians would probably want to forget the state’s budget struggles of recent years, when the recession dramatically lowered revenues, leading the Legislature and local governments to cut school funding, severely reduce help for the needy, limit access to libraries and parks, and delay critical work on roads and other infrastructure.
Yet many state legislators apparently want to make Florida’s recurring fiscal nightmare a permanent condition.
Tallahassee’s turnaround on pill mills, more importantly, the reversal in opposing the use of a computer database to curb the odious practice of doctor shopping, is great news. And especially so for a region that has developed a reputation as the nation’s epicenter forprescription drug abuse.
Having adopted a one-year moratorium on new pain clinics last June, county commissioners are now considering an ordinance to regulate “pain management clinics” and to shut them down if they are found to be trafficking in pain medication.
Tampa Tribune –Sunset for Citizens
Citizens Property Insurance Corp., a state-run company, is the largest insurer of homes and other property in Florida at 1.3 million policies in 2010. What was supposed to be the insurer of last resort in the Sunshine State now covers $457 billion worth of Florida property.
Lawmakers should move toward shutting Citizens’ doors.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.