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Statement on House GOP Holding Hostage Senate’s Special Needs Bills

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In a blatant partisan act of political retribution, Speaker Steve Crisafulli is holding hostage Senate President Andy Gardiner’s bills assisting children with special needs, effectively ending the legislation’s chance of passage in the next four days.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant issued the following statement:

“As the mother of a child with special needs, I find the actions of House Republicans to hold these bills hostage to score political points completely reprehensible. I have had numerous discussions with Senator Andy Gardiner about the importance of this issue, and I know he shares my dedication to helping children with special needs. If the Chair of the Florida Democratic Party and the Republican Senate President can come together to support these bills, there is no reason House Republicans can’t do the same.

Some things are beyond partisan politics and political grandstanding. Caring for Florida’s children with special needs is one of them. It is beyond shameful that Steve Crisafulli and the House Republican leadership have become so wrapped up in ideological rigidity that they no longer recognize that our most vulnerable children are above politics.” 

Background:

CRISAFULLI HOLDS SPECIAL NEEDS BILL HOSTAGE—“Impasse claims another casualty: Gardiner and Crisafulli’s joint work plan for special needs kids,” by The Miami Herald's Mary Ellen Klas: “The budget impasse over health care negotiations has another casualty: some of the bills intended to assist people with special needs that were part of the joint work plan agreed to between House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner. The House released its final special order calendar of the week late Monday and absent are four of the bills Gardiner, R-Orlando, was counting on as part of the ‘joint priorities’ agreed to with Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island.”