Floridians respond to State of the State by Awaking The State

TALLAHASSEE – With Gov. Rick Scott’s State of the State address and the opening of the 2014 legislative session as a backdrop, Floridians are rallying across the state as part of a continuing grassroots chorus of discontent against Scott and the Florida Legislature’s undemocratic, anti-middle class policies. Participants and speakers alike are calling on Gov. Scott and his allies in the Tea Party-controlled Legislature to pass a budget that invests in restoring the middle class, not more corporate giveaways.

“This governor will apparently say anything to get reelected.  His mantra is ‘let’s keep working’ but middle class Florida families are just feeling worked over,” said Mark Ferrulo of Progress Florida. “Average Floridians are fed up with Tallahassee politicians balancing the budget on the backs of hard-working Floridians.  We will continue to fight Rick Scott and the Tea Party until we see these anti-middle class policies changed.” 

The local rallies are being held in more than a dozen cities from Pensacola to Miami, and followed a massive March 3rd “Moral Monday” protest at the Capitol in Tallahassee, where protesters advocated for stronger public schools, protecting voting rights, expanding access to quality health care, and more.

“Gov. Scott and his allies in the legislature have made a habit of picking the pockets of our nurses, police and firefighters to further pad the pockets of corporate CEOs,” said Ferrulo “Cutting jobs, salaries, and benefits for teachers, nurses, firefighters, police, and other public employees is reckless in hard economic times and will make Florida less attractive to businesses and families alike.” 

In recent years lawmakers have imposed devastating cuts to education, refused to expand access to health care, restricted access to voting and sided with polluters who are poisoning our land and water. But with a projected budget “surplus” of $1.2 billion, now is the time for Florida to invest in our future and restore funding for education, health care, our precious natural resources, renewable energy and infrastructure. 

“Hardworking Floridians just want a fair shot at taking care of their families,” said Ferrulo.  “That includes good schools for our kids, quality jobs, and access to affordable health care.” 

‘Awake The State’ started as a Facebook page that quickly grew to thousands strong, resulting in 30 rallies in cities across the state in March 2011. The Awake The State movement provides a platform for everyday Floridians to make their voices heard and push back against Rick Scott and the Tea Party-controlled legislature’s flawed budget priorities.