Charlie Justice on property taxes at Tiger Bay listen10/24/07 Seán Kinane
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State Sen. Charlie Justice, who represents parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties spoke today at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
The Legislature is in special session to propose a constitutional amendment to reduce property taxes, but because the House and Senate are so far apart, senators have returned to their home districts for the entire week, Justice said.
Last session, the Legislature moved the date of the Florida presidential primary to Jan. 29, one week earlier than the Feb. 5 date preferred by the two major political parties. The result, both parties have said they will penalize Florida’s primary voters.
The Republican National Committee said this week it will seat only half of Florida’s delegates to its 2008 nominating convention. The Democratic National Committee has long threatened to exclude all of Florida’s delegates.
Because of the difficulties of passing the property tax cut proposal in one day, Justice said that the opportunity might arise to extend the time by changing the date of Florida’s presidential primary election, thereby ending the feud between the state and national parties.
Because the state Legislature has not accomplished much of what it has promised lately, particularly regarding real reductions in property taxes and homeowner’s insurance rates, Justice thinks these issues will have to be addressed again in the 2008 session in addition to others.
Justice was asked whether he will run for Congress in 2008 for the seat currently occupied by U.S. Rep. Bill Young and whether his decision will be swayed depending on whether Young seeks re-election.
Sen. Justice previously announced his endorsement of Gershom Faulkner for St. Petersburg City Council, District 7. But in August, Faulkner said he believed that sexual orientation is a lifestyle choice and that because of his religious beliefs, he disapproved of that "lifestyle."
Justice was asked why he has not withdrawn his endorsement of Faulkner as state representatives Rick Kriseman and Bill Heller have.