Jeb Bush on Government Reform
Republican FL Governor
Keep legislation small and focused: no mammoth “train” bills
House Bill 1053 was originally created to address issues that would improve overall administration of various transportation programs in our state. As the bill moved through the legislative process, a multitude of different proposals were added onto
the original language. By the time House Bill 1053 was approved on the last day of session it had become a mammoth piece of legislation, most commonly referred to as a “train.” In its final form, House Bill 1053 exceeds 300 pages and makes almost two
hundred different changes to current Florida law.
As would be expected, a bill of this size and complexity brings forth concerns. For one, the sheer range of issues addressed in House Bill 1053 provides a textbook example of logrolling,
the kind that makes it difficult to provide Floridians with good, sound public policy.
In closing, I would encourage the sponsors of this bill to repackage the good ideas and create new legislation for next year.
Source: Veto notification on House Bill 1053
Jun 14, 2001
Reform Civil Service: “Service First”
Governor Jeb Bush announced the Service First Initiative, a civil service reform plan designed to modernize the state workforce. The Governor has emphasized a set of guiding principles for enhancing our civil service system:
Source: Press Release
Mar 1, 2001
Rewarding Performance: an additional $40 million over and above the cost of living increase for pay for performance bonuses.
- Providing More Choices and Opportunities for Employees:
Career Service employees be given the option of receiving up to 3 days of unused annual leave each year in the form of a cash payout.
- Providing Greater Accountability for Supervisors and Managers:
Move them into the Select Exempt Service and become at-will employees.
- Through Service First, state government’s workforce will better reflect the realities of the new millennium and better compete for the most talented public servants.
Privatize & outsource govt; fee holidays for contractors
Senate Bill 1016 is a broad piece of legislation dealing with the regulation of professions. It also implements a number of the Administration’s priorities reflecting a smaller, more efficient government.
Among these priorities, Senate Bill 1016
provides a “fee holiday” for 14 professions, ranging from electrical contractors to veterinarians to surveyors. Over the course of the next two years, the fee holidays will provide over $18 million in savings to these professions.
Senate Bill 1016 also encourages the privatization and outsourcing of certain governmental activities. It calls for the privatization of elevator inspections and contains provisions known collectively as the Management Privatization Act.
These provisions will allow for the outsourcing of licensing and investigative functions of regulated professions. All told, these changes should lead to less government and more efficiency.
Source: Approval notification on Senate Bill 1016
Jun 23, 2000
No campaign spending limits; no public financing
Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
Source: 1998 Florida Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test
Nov 1, 1998
Proper role: public order & general welfare
We must ask ourselves what the proper role of government should be. We must find the things government does well or should do well. In doing this, we should keep in mind 3 principles:
- Government is at its best when it is providing public order and
safety, when it is preventing our encroachment upon one another, when it is building and maintaining roads and bridges. We must move towards letting government do these things first.
- Government does have a role to play in the general welfare of its
citizens. Public education and assistance for those truly in need are legitimate and important areas for government involvement. However, improved results will only come from a shift in decision making away from bureaucrats to a new social management
team-volunteers in our communities.
- Too often in the past, we have created social policy without asking basic questions. What kind of behavior will this legislation encourage or discourage? How will a particular policy afect families and communities?
Source: Profiles in Character, by Jeb Bush & B.Yablonski, p.180-81
Nov 1, 1995
Reforms must respect state's rights to select electors.
Bush adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
The IssueIn the wake of the United States presidential election in Florida, the Congress and the administration has expressed interest in federal standards for elections. Recognizing that Articles I and II of the United States Constitution grants states, not Congress, the authority to determine the manner of selecting presidential electors and conducting elections generally, most legislative proposals do not mandate federal standards. Rather, current proposals direct federal agencies or commissions to study and make recommendations concerning the election system. Nonetheless, the possibility of legislation in the 107th Congress requiring states to implement federal election standards remains. If enacted without adequate funding by the federal government, such legislation could also result in an unfunded mandate to the states.
NGA’s Position Articles I and II of the United States Constitution grant states the authority to determine the manner of selecting presidential electors and provide that states are responsible for establishing election procedures generally. However, in the wake of the 2000 presidential election, the nation’s Governors recognize the need for election reform. NGA will continue to monitor federal legislation addressing this issue, but has not taken a position in support of or opposition to election reform efforts.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA11 on Aug 1, 2001
Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010