Orange County Democrats are miffed their GOP brethren in the county’s legislative delegation opted to skip a meeting Monday night where President Obama‘s health-care law was slated to be discussed.
The meeting happened Monday night at the Orange County Administration offices.
Following last year’s redistricting process, Orange County‘s delegation is majority-Democrat for the first time in decades — and delegation chair, Sen. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, said in a statement Tuesday she was none-too-pleased every Democrat showed up on Thanksgiving week for the hearing skipped by every Republican.
“I am disappointed that our Republican members have decided to excuse themselves from this important discussion on the Affordable Care Act,” she said.
The delegation heard from a procession of supporters for accepting federal funding to expand the state-federal Medicaid program, an optional part of the law the Legislature chose to reject last spring. The issue could be revisited next session, with health-care advocates, hospitals and more business leaders coming out in favor of accepting the estimated $51 billion the state would otherwise punt.
Thompson’s statement went on to say that “GOP legislators made it clear they were unwilling to come to the table to hear from local leaders or the public on the issue.”
Here’s the roll-call of absent and present lawmakers:
Absent: Sen. Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando; Rep. Tom Goodson, R-Titusville; Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla; Rep. Bryan Nelson, R-Apopka; Rep. Steve Precourt, R-Orlando; Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland.
Present: Sen. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando; Rep. Bruce Antone, D-Orlando; Rep. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando; Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando; Rep. Randolph Bracy, D-Ocoee; Rep.Victor Torres, D-Orlando; Rep. Karen Castor Dentel, D-Maitland; Rep. Joe Saunders, D-Orlando.
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