FL House Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach, On Tax Changes, The Budget & More

By on February 12, 2018 in WNDB News

Ormond Beach, FL – During Wednesday’s installment of the Bennet and Bernier show, WNDB’s Marc Bernier and Chuck Bennet discussed higher education, Ponce’s Law, a statue of repose, a tax proposal, and the State’s budget with Florida House Representative Thomas “Tom” Leek, R-Ormond Beach.

When asked about a bill targeting state colleges on the Senate side Leek, who is on the Higher Education Committee in the Florida House, said that the House’s version is “more supportive” of state colleges and that the House is doing “a little bit extra” for state colleges compared to the Senate. According to Leek, there is a threat to state college’s funding if the Senate bill goes through, but if the House bill goes through, colleges can expect to see some of their funding restored.

One of Leek’s main legislative goals this session is passing a bill in the Judiciary Committee and the House floor regarding a statute of repose. “What that does is it provides clarity for homeowners and for homebuilders on when, what is essentially a statute of limitations, begins to run and fixes something that some courts did a while back,” said Leek.

Another goal of Leek’s was passing the 2/3 tax proposal through the House floor. The proposed constitutional amendment states that in order for the State to raise taxes and fees, the approval of 2/3 of the Florida House and Senate is needed.

“The voters would still have to vote on it, but it may not fail straight through. You keep in mind that the Senate has a 3/5 version, we have a 2/3 version. And we chose 2/3 because that matches it up with what the citizens’ obligation is if they want to add a tax via constitutional amendment. So we thought if its good enough for them, its good enough for us.”

Other than the tax proposal, Leek’s next biggest concern is passing Ponce’s Law. “We’ve had to do a lot of work to keep that moving in the Senate. It moved beautifully in the house, but to get it moving in the Senate, we had to do a little bit of legislative gymnastics there,” said Leek.

When asked about the gap between the budget proposals from the House and Senate Leek said that “even a small number” difference can mean a lot when you are talking about billions of dollars. Leek said that once the House takes up and enacts its budget proposal, the Senate will do the same and both proposals will eventually go to Budget Conference. There, legislators will “hash-out” a budget to hand over to the governor.

“There is a gap. I doubt anything throws us into overtime this year. The gap is significant but I ‘don’t think its insurmountable,” said Leek.

Click below to hear the full interview. Head to MarcBernierShow.com for more from the Bennet and Bernier show.


Photo courtesy of the Florida House of Representatives.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2018.


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