51st State of the United States?
Are we paying a fair amount of taxes, and is the government using the money the way it should?
According to the Miami Dade County commission here are some projects that could use funding from the state government:
$157 million for bridge replacements and repairs
$20 million to fund indigent care at Jackson Health Systems.
$13 million to make county court facilities more accessible to people with disabilities.
$6 million to increase shooting and add larger range targets at the Trail Glades Range for state and local law enforcement and residents.
$3.8 million for relocation of the Mildred Pepper Senior Center.
$3.5 million for the Metro Zoo’s Amazon and Beyond exhibit.
$1.6 million for beach erosion repairs.
$40 million to complete the north and east-west Metrorail extensions, the purchase of buses, transit security and the construction of pedestrian overpasses. Overpasses need to be built over US 1 at the 27th Avenue, South Miami, University and Dadeland South Metrorail stations.
More than $7.5 million in required for such things as a runway extension at Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport and the installation of a system to scan the airfield at Miami International Airport for metal objects, birds and wildlife, among other things.
Instead due to cut in funds from the state University of Florida will lay off about 400 employees and FIU has projected that up to 200 jobs may have to be slashed. FIU. It will also sell off part of its fleet of more than 200 cars, vans and trucks.
FIU already reduced its budget by $10 million this year and is preparing to slash another $12 million. Its highly-anticipated new medical school is getting $3 million less than it expected. And among the schools that could be eliminated or folded into other programs is the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Nicknamed donor counties, taxpayers of some counties not only put far more into the coffers than other parts of the state, and they don’t get it back but they are also subject to bigger spending cuts during leaner times like these. This is certainly true for South Florida. South Florida taxpayers give more; get less back according to a detailed Miami Herald analysis done in April.
On April 29th the City of North Lauderdale passed a resolution which states that “the City Commission… has no confidence in the State Legislature’s ability to recognize the practical impact of its decisions or how its decisions demonstrably affect municipalities that directly provide essential public services to the citizens and residents of the State; and the City Commission deems a division of the State to be in the best interests of the citizens and residents of the State.”
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The city of Margate followed North Lauderdale’s lead with its own resolution which states that “local governments representing the citizens within the counties of Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach earnestly feel that the government of the State of Florida has, as in the past, but more so today, ignored the requirements of the citizens which comprise the three most populous counties of southeast Florida both for funding from the of the State government of Florida and for laws and regulations which are needed to secure the quality of life, benefits of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
It also calls for “its citizens to sever the ties that said citizens have with the State of Florida and formulate and establish their own state of the Federal Union of the United States.”
In 1982, the U.S. Border Patrol set up a gateway checkpoint to the north of the Florida Keys to look for drugs and illegal immigrants. There were traffic jams and talk of rebellion. Key West residents, reveling in the tourist-drawing controversy, hoisted the Conch Republic banner in Mallory Square on April 23, 1982. The mayor of Key West was chosen as first prime minister of the Conch Republic.
War was declared on the United States, and there was a good-natured clubbing of a Navy sailor. The club was an old loaf of Cuban bread. The rebels then surrendered and applied for $1 billion in federal foreign aid.
In 2003, Cape Coral, in Southwest Florida, considered breaking off from Lee County, named for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The seat of Lee County is Fort Myers, a city with Civil War ties. New age rebel leaders wanted to name their county Grant, after Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Cape Coral’s population of 119,000 complained about everything from election dates to libraries, toll bridges and taxes. They got no respect, they said.
The last time secession succeeded in Florida was in 1925, when Gilchrist County broke from Alachua County over road-spending and cow-fencing laws. It is time for other municipalities in Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties to follow Margate and North Lauderdale’s lead in creating the 51st State of these United States.