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Tea Party activists urge energy bill veto

Thousands of Tea Party activists are calling on Governor Rick Scott to veto an energy bill that received bipartisan approval from the Florida Legislature and has the backing of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. As Sascha Cordner reports, the groups say the legislation will have a negative impact on Florida’s future energy policy.

“Government, get out of our lives!”

Tea Party Activist Victoria Jackson is one of several grassroots leaders from across the state, sharing the same sentiment as a number of conservative activist groups, which are urging the veto of House Bill 7117.

Some of the groups include the Heartland Institute and Americans for Prosperity’s Florida Chapter. AFP-FL’s president Slade O’Brien says the bill is a waste of taxpayer money, is bad for business, and bankrolls politically-favored energy companies.

“It’s bad politics because as anybody knows, when you start giving away goodies to industry or individual companies. What they end up doing is hiring more and more lobbyists that circle that money through the process whether it’s in the capital or in the election process in order for those industries to get more and more tax credits and more and more goodies to their advantage at the disadvantage of the open-marketplace.”

O’Brien says restoring expired tax credits for renewable energy projects allows for the state to pick winners and losers. But, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam disagrees.

“It is not picking winners or losers. It is unwinding a mandate and creating an atmosphere that supports what I think Florida’s natural competitive advantages are in this new job creating sector.”

The Governor has until Saturday to decide whether to sign the energy bill.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.