Political Scientist: Some Florida Bills Purely Symbolic

Mar 20, 2014

Several Memorial Bills were passed Thursday.

Every session, state legislatures pass memorial legislation: resolutions on issues over which the state has little actual control but lawmakers still want to make their position known.

A handful of such bills are pending before the Florida Legislature.  Among them: a proposal asking the federal government to balance its budget and another requesting the state be released from a renewable fuel standard. Some lawmakers also want a national convention where constitutional amendments may be proposed. Others are calling for a repeal of the federal income tax – none of which are likely to sway Washington lawmakers.

“Well some of it sounds like symbolic politics,” University of Miami political science professor Mike Milakovich says. “That’s typical of state government: They want to assert more control over federal resources to try to direct them in areas they feel are a higher priority.”

Milakovich calls it a “pie in the sky” idea that the states would have control over federal spending.