By the order of the United States Constitution our government is set up under a system called federalism. This means that the powers of the government are divided between the federal and state governments. Local governments are then given powers by both the state and federal governments. As you can tell, local governments are the most restricted of any branches. According to a census completed by the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1992, there were over eighty five thousand different governments in the U.S. This includes all federal, state, and local governments. In this paper I will be discussing a different action taken by the state, a county, and a local government here in Florida.
The first article I will be discussing talks about an action that will possibly be implemented by the state. In August of 1997 the state of Florida negotiated a thirteen billion-dollar settlement with the tobacco industry. The late Governor Lawton Chiles was instrumental in the state receiving this settlement. This settlement insures that the tobacco industry will pay the Florida government an estimated four hundred million dollars a year. Governor Jeb Bush is now fighting for an endowment fund in the late governor's name. This fund would begin with a deposit of $1.1 billion dollars. The estimated annual interest on this amount would be one hundred and sixty million dollars. The profit from the interest would then be spent on services for children and seniors. Governor Bush wants to build the fund up to over two billion dollars in the next three years. I believe that this is an excellent idea. Rather than spending all of the money at one time this endowment fund will allow the state to draw on its income for years to come. The long-term effects of this endowment fund are far more valuable than the initial investment. It will also help many people remember the efforts of the late Lawton
Chiles in his crusade to make a better life for all of Florida's children.
The second article I will be discussing talks about the passage of a bike helmet law in Brevard County. The law requires that all children under the age of sixteen must wear a bicycle helmet while riding bicycles. There will be a sixty day grace period where police will issue warnings, after the grace period, police will issue a seventeen dollar fine for each offense. Brevard County was one of the last two counties in Florida with no helmet laws; the other is Citrus County. This is a law that should have been past a long time ago. In 1996 a study released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission stated that every year three hundred children are killed, and over four hundred thousand are sent to the hospital with serious injuries. This law will help make this county safer for children who ride their bicycles.
The third action I will be discussing, is the city of Titusville building sidewalks near various schools in the city. The city has been given a 1.2 million-dollar grant in order to do so. The sidewalks will be eight feet wide and will allow both bicycle and pedestrian traffic to travel in both directions. Donna Heribacka, who started lobbying for the sidewalks over six years ago, is a parent of a student who attends Apollo Elementary. She stated, ?This is long overdue, there is a need for sidewalks all over the city.? I feel this is the first step of many to make the streets safer for children. With the increase of traffic in the area, we constantly need to monitor the situation. The long awaited building of these sidewalks will greatly increase the safety for children in the area.
All of these articles are examples of how the government effects are day-to-day lives. The first by creating a fund that will help our state's population of young and old,
by providing additional funding for various programs that are essential for those that are often forgotten. The second and third articles help ensure the safety of children. It is not the government's job to raise our children, but it is sometimes necessary for them to step in and give direction to some parents who need it. Due to the state's high number of retiree's, and