This Week In Jacksonville; Audrey Gibson
We're. Looking at the new landscape, in the Sunshine, State Legislature. In Northeast Florida has a unique position in state government with a new year approaching, Jacksonville's. Audrey, Gibson she served as a state lawmaker since, 2002. She's, now the Democratic. Leader in the Senate for the next two years also. Today two of the power brokers and politics, joining us from Clay County Fleming. Islands Rob Bradley describes, his view starting a second, year as the Senate, Appropriations chair, and Travis. Coming steps in as well the state representative, begins his first go-round as, appropriations. Chair in the house it's. An opportunity for influence. And a reason to watch this week in Jacksonville. Thanks. So much for joining us january, begins the administration, of a new governor in floor and in the legislative, branch of government there's a new Minority Leader in the upper chamber, Jacksonville's, Audrey Gibson and she's joining us now unanimously. Elected leader. Of the Florida Senate Democratic, caucus for, the 2019. Through 2020. Terms congratulations. As I had to look into this I see that this is the third time a woman has served in this role second african-american, what. Does this election what does this position mean to you well. It's, very exciting, and thank you so much, for. The congratulatory, comments, but it's exciting. To. Be able to. Work. With caucus. Members to get their priorities. Done, as well. As us, coming, together as a caucus, to focus on our caucus, priorities. And. So I'm, excited about the possibilities. I'm excited, about the role. Obviously. I was aiming for president. But we. We did actually. Pick. Up a seat and which, is very, exciting, as well and it's the highest, number, of state. Senators, we've had and. That's. In year yes so let's talk about that so the 17. Members of the Democratic caucus at this point I guess what. What's. The way that you make a difference, in terms of state policy, since you are the in the minority role, therein in, the Senate, well. First of all I don't act like I'm in the minority I don't I understand. The numbers, but as. As far as I'm concerned. My. Vote, is equal, to every, other vote, in the, Senate, chamber as as are the votes of the caucus and in, the Senate you can actually make a make. A, difference. Because every, single vote matters. You know because. It because of the number of us and so also. As. As you know, I. Have always worked. Across the aisle since. I started and built. Relationships. On. With, Democrats, as well as Republicans, because. That's what it takes and, that. Way you can find some. Consensus. Or or find, compromise, points. And. That's the way it should be I have a great relationship with the, president. Galvano we came into the, house together in 2002. And, so. It's. A it's, a it's an exciting, time and you just mentioned some of that experience. For you so remember, the house since. 2002, to 2010. And then in the Senate since 2011. I'll. Let you tell me what the priorities, are but I've read that you've said it was raising, teacher salaries, expanding. Access to health care transportation and economic development. I wanted to focus maybe on the education, piece because we know now there's gonna be a new Education, Commissioner, the former Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran, State. Board of Education just, unanimously, approving. His appointment, this week and. So senator his background, points to expanding, charter schools and some, policy that teachers, unions, don't really like what. Do you anticipate there, do. You think you'll, be able to move the needle on hey we need to pay our teachers more well first and foremost. Commissioners. Corcoran. Should. Understand, that, he. Is the, education. Commissioner for all of. The. Children in the, state of Florida and their, families, and so that's that's number one, and.
I, Do believe that we, can move, the needle on teacher, salary, we have to or when the lowest paying in the in the country, and. That's not a good thing and. Still, the majority of our. Kids in the afford to attend. Traditional schools, so I. Think how, we get, to the salaries, is is, going to be. The. Devil in the details and, that means whether it's incremental. Over, a, year, or two. What, that would look like, and. Where. Teachers, are there different. Places with their salary so it's, a it'll, be a numbers, game for sure yeah well but an important number to consider because, as you mentioned teacher salaries, are low in the state of Florida compared to other states, absolutely, so I read the quote from you following the the election to this minority leader role you said I consider, the rule more as a bridge, builder for purposes, so, much larger, the Democratic caucus embracing, a wide ethnic and regional diversity of individuals and communities our, mission is to lift all voices, our task to recognize all their, concerns, so yeah. How, do you build that bridge in today's climate, where, it seems like if you're a political opponent, you've been made a political enemy. And. Vilified. I'm. Not sure that it exists. As, much. In the Senate and as it does at the, national level, and. Sometimes, even in the house I haven't, been there and in quite a bit, but over. The years attitude, started, to change. The. Camaraderie that was, there when I started, started. To go away and and we have to get back to that there's no reason not to. And. So. I'm. Not anyone's. Opponent. In the Senate my caucus isn't, anyone's opponent, in the Senate we're and the legislature, together. It, is a very diverse state and. Everybody's. Idea is not necessarily, the perfect idea, and so, there has to be. Acceptance. And. Respect. For more. Than just one. Way to do, something, one. Way for policy to go because. Of the way it impacts people across. The state in different districts, well. You're talking about you you work with other senators. House working, with other state representatives, altogether, the legislature, works with this executive branch as well so new governor coming in, what's. Your read there it's, in another Republican. Governor and in. This case a governor, who has aligned, himself with the president, of United States and that can be. Viewed. In certain ways. But. We. Know that he's from northeast Florida we know that he is named. A, Democrat. To be the head of Emergency Management Services here, what's. Your read on this and how do you anticipate this going at least in this near term this this year of 2019, so there's some anxiety. Frankly. When. I. Think, he's on the same. Train. As. Corcoran. As a matter of fact when it comes to how, we treat our schools. He's. Not interested. In. Medicaid. Expansion. Which, to me means, that there's. Not much interest in the, health, care of people, who have to get their. Medical. Services, in an emergency, room I. Was. Hopeful, or I'm still hopeful, I guess that he will consider diversity. On the Supreme Court. Again. This state is very diverse, all voices, should be raised and when you seek justice. You should get just that not just. Clear. Ideologues. But. Recognizing. That people, are human beings and they come from different you you want to see some of that diversity what I do and, just naming, a Democrat, is not diversity. And just, naming one is not necessarily, bipartisanship. Either. Well. We know there's, a lot to consider and a lot coming, down the road here as we get into 2019. And and all sorts of committee. Work that comes before March in the legislative, session yes, sorry Gibson it's great to see you again congratulations. On this role in leadership thank you very much all right so. From a leader of a caucus to the, committee chairs our focus on state local politics continues, with Clay County lawmakers, Rob Bradley Travis. Cummings the important, committee that they'll oversee. Next, on the street conjecture, go. Find. Out for yourself I did Gore's RV world is the People's Choice the. Nation's best RV brands fully.
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Be A busy time but, something we feel we're up for the challenge as, well as grateful. For the opportunity, that speaker. Leave has provided me and obviously Senate President galvano has provided senator Bradley so maybe both, of you can help us on a little educational, piece here how does this work a house we, do all of this separate, or is there, value, to the relationship, that you two have with each other on what's going to happen in the Appropriations, Committee work. That's done here well. Politics. Is. Is. Built. I think, successful. Political. Outcomes. Are built on good strong relationships. And I. Feel really good about the fact that chairman. Cummings and I have worked together on so, many things over the years and we. Have such a close personal, friendship, obviously. The Senate is going to build its budget, the house is going to build its budget, and then, we're going to get together and, work out the differences and then it's going to go to, the governor. For his consideration. But, the fact that we have such a good trust with one another, and. We share so. Many of the same values. Or. We're both physical. Conservatives, it's very important, to both of us that we, have a balanced, budget where we don't raise taxes, look, to cut taxes, when, possible have ample, reserves we, share a lot of these same values and then, when you combine that with our close relationship. Working, relationship, our trust with one another I think we're going to have a very, successful venture, what. Do you think about that yeah I would agree I mean clearly. Is Senator, mentioned there will be some differences, we, ultimately report, or presiding officers in my case the Speaker of the House he's. My boss I'm gonna make sure I do everything I can to carry out his objectives, and the budget, but. He shares, most. Of the same if not all the same philosophies, and, that. Senator Bradley and myself would so we, think it'll be a amical process, and one that we won't get, caught up in any. Gamesmanship, necessarily. But there will be some differences. And I'm sure a tense moment or two but but, we understand, that you know it's a 90 billion dollar budget or so there's, a lot of needs out there and, you. Know it'll, it'll be an interesting process for sure well let's hone, in on that if we can so this current, budget that we're working, out here or living, out at the end of 2018 was, 89, billion, dollars, seems, like the economy has been pretty, good in the last few years, but. Where do things go in in 2019. Where do you see things headed, here is it, a bigger budget because that 89 billion was the largest, theta they were out yeah one thing I'm most proud of if, you know if not maybe the number one you. Know a piece of you. Know a result, that I've seen over these last several years is were rated, from fiscal health standpoint. Really. One of the top two or three, states. In the country and when you compare us with the large states like California. And Texas and New York were by far number one and and Kent, that's very important, because whether, it's bond ratings, or you.
Know A business climate, that just to me is is one of the most important, factors in terms of our debt which is not. Not very high at all and and our reserves that we continue, to build up I think, that myself, and Senator Bradley have to continue, to keep that in mind and make sure our successors. Enjoy that you. Know that that same you. Know fact. And of the matter and really, it helps our residents, as well as businesses, thrive and so with, that being said I mean health care continues to absorb the, significant, amount the budget it's growing at unprecedented, rate obviously. Education continues. To be but obviously we know that's a core, part. Of our funding. That needs to continue to educate our youth and future generations, hurricane. And some catastrophes. That you can't. Always plan for you, know that'll be a focus with a panhandle, to make sure they recover and obviously the environment which, Senator Bradley has been a just. A phenomenal, leader in but we've got more work to do there's we hear about the red tie the algae, blooms and different things so we've. Got a large, chore ahead of us but their resources, they're limited but we just got to identify the priorities, and once, again be, fiscally responsible so. Our state continues to be, really. Looked upon ball the rest the states in the country in, that regard Senator Bradley I want to get your thoughts on this before we take a brief, commercial break but what. Do you think things look like here in 2019, well. Thank. Goodness last, year we, had over three billion dollars, in reserves because, we had to hit those reserves, when Hurricane, Michael came through and one, of the real advantages of, having, ample. Reserves like we do in the state of Florida is when. We have a natural disaster like hurricane Michael. We, don't have to wait on the federal, we're. Ready to act and then we can sort it out later with. The federal government, when it comes to reimbursements. And that sort of thing Florida. Unfortunately. Because we have so. Many hurricanes, and, and events. Like that we've. That. Is a tragedy, and often a human tragedy but, we're good, at responding to, it and we.
We Are probably the, leader in, the country and probably, even in the world and effective. Responses. To natural disasters. Those things cost it costs a lot of money to effectively, respond. And that's one of the reasons why we always maintain ample. Reserves you do it literally for a rainy day and, thank. Goodness we had that in place this. This past year, yeah, I want to talk more about that so we'll take a break and come back and talk maybe the impact of the Hurricanes and and what's happened here in the state of Florida, but as. We do that we're taking this short break then we'll be right back to talk with representative, Cummings senator Bradley so stay with us on this weekend Jack. Don't. Miss the Daytona Beach RV show December 28th through January, 1st only get the lowest prices of 2018. At the Daytona Beach Ocean Center free admission free parking all, these extra hits on a beach RV show Friday December 28th, through Tuesday January 1st. Make. Sure it's this one luxury. Should, be lifted, during, the Infinity winter sales plan experience. The Infiniti, qx50. Plus, get a special winter bonus at your local Infiniti, retailer. To. Me your, Linda a single, mother of two but. To the insurance, company, to the insurance, company, of the crazy texting, and speeding driver who did me I'm claim. Number one to zero for Y and since you're just claimed, number one to zero for y they don't care that my car's totaled or that you have a ruptured disk in your neck so, understand, insurance company I am NOT a number she's. A fighter, call. Ferren Farah today. This. Holiday everything. I asked for is already under the tree. Tree. Isn't even up yet. Ringing. The holidays with great deals across the Buick lineup like, this low mileage lease for current eligible, GM lessees on this 2019. Encore, for around 159, per month. Hey. You, been doing up there are. The only ask questions that you really want the answers to. Okay. Can. You get a reward for being such a nice guy oh yes nice guys don't finish first. Oh. My god a rapport, you. We're. Doing very well. This. Might be too late to save it I'm not sure we should have children. Oh what, are you dressed as. CIE. I know he's. I wasn't. Always this good at this. Haters. Gonna hate Pisa. Last Man Standing. Weeknights. At 8:00 and 8:30 on channel, 4, don't. Miss this Daytona Beach RV shows December 28th group January 1st only get the lowest prices of 2018. Or travel Chile. Show. Friday December 28th, you choose that January 1st I. So. Welcome back appreciate, you being with us Senator Rob Bradley state, representative Travis Cummings the Appropriations.
Chair, In house, and in the Senate here and that's why we're talking money, in Florida, and one, of the things I wanted to just wrap up a moment ago we're talking about the impact of hurricanes, and, what the future looks like fiscally, in the state chief, legislative economist. Amy Baker says the state needs new, money to the tune of six billion dollars over the next three, years do you agree with that number, yes. Miss, Baker actually, is. A professional. Who is hired by both, the House in the Senate to, give us our numbers. That we have to work with based, on, professional. Analysis. Of future. Revenues and economic. Forecasts, and so, on and the, reason really is because Florida. Continues to, be on a roll when it comes to the economy seems, like it yeah we've had a over. 1.5, million, jobs, created since 2010, and we have a lot of people moving here we're now the third largest state, in the Union I would, just pass New York a couple of years ago and we continue, to have exclusive. Explosive. Growth and an, explosive job-creating. Economy, now, with that comes, more students, I mean every year we basically, add another. School district to, the state of Florida with all the new families. And the new children, that come with those families to our state that, cost money. Chair, Cummings mentioned, healthcare. Costs we. Have a lot of responsibilities. In the Medicaid program and we have more people you have more responsibilities. So, that's, one of the reasons why we're very physically. Conservative. Very prudent, in our decision-making and, when it comes to how we spend dollars yeah representative, coming up maybe I'll throw this at you before we run out of time I know that this week we found out that Florida, had. About 17,000, fewer students, in the kindergarten. School system than was anticipated that year ago and. The state budget is we're talking about this I know that maybe, two-thirds of the budget is between health care and education. There so when we talk. For this year, how. Do we make changes I know I just spoke a moment ago with Senator Gibson what are her priorities, is raising teacher wages. Is it. How, do we mix. All that together and come up with a solution for, what is really important education, in our state well there's no doubt there continues to be a lot of vacancies, with educators, in k-12 and we've got a we've made a lot of headway there in terms of incentivizing, them particularly performance-based. Measures, that, we've. Got a great feedback from obviously, on the higher ed side so we need to hey we're all for paying our teachers more and the value, that they've had and I know my life and Senator Bradley's, life, is has been incredible, obviously, we've got only so many resources we, we. Don't like raise taxes, or any burdens on you, know shared burdens with a household, we rely so much on sales tax revenue, and tourism, higher. Ed continues. To flourish with bright futures, and other performance-based, measures so, I think. It's a you know why you can plan a lot can I think we've just got to continue to find efficiencies within our government, is.
In, And. Make sure that the growth we feel was paying for these additional, you. Know seats, and classrooms, and so forth like that yeah, so let me give you each maybe 30 seconds to reply to this but as we, go into this new year 2019. A. Republican. Was elected governor again, what. Was your reaction there, was that boy. That's. Good for us or. How. Did how. Do you look forward to I guess this new administration it'll. Be different than the previous eight, years right I think, the results. Of Republican. Leadership in the state of Florida speak for themselves, we, just learned that our, graduation, rates in our k12 system are, higher than they've ever been in the state of Florida we're now up to eighty six point, two percent graduation. Rate in the state of Florida we have permanent expansion, of Bright Futures so, our, children when they graduate, from k12, have unlimited. And unprecedented. Opportunities. To, pursue a college degree if that if that's, what they show choose, like what you're saying is you view it as positive that, there's a another, Republican, four years in I. Think it's a positive for the state of Florida because, I think our record has been successful. Yeah have, you weigh in on that on 30 seconds or less yeah no I you, know obviously governor elect the scientists, look forward to work when he's obviously resides. In this region, or well be residing in Tallahassee very, soon but no I think he's very committed, to continuing. What Governor Scott did but also focusing. So maybe some additional areas as well but we, feel that you. Know the executive branch will be one that will work with very closely and we greatly look forward to it so, Rob Bradley Travis, Cummings leaders. From Clay County and in the state of Florida thanks so much for being with us this morning thank, you for being with us this morning I can't justice this week in Jacksonville every Sunday morning. More. People in Northeast, Florida and, South Georgia get. Their news from news for Jax than anywhere, else.