Florida Representative Rick Kriseman urges residents to back Obama's Jobs Act
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12/01/11 Sarah Curran
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

Florida Representative Rick Kriseman says Governor Rick Scott doesn’t get it when it comes to creating jobs in the state. At a community meeting last night, the representative spoke about Obama’s American Jobs act. He says it focuses on the right ways to get the economy back on track.

“Our governor doesn’t get it and the President does get it.”

Representative Kriseman spoke to a crowd of about a dozen in St. Petersburg. The event hosted by the Florida Consumer Action Network gave residents an opportunity to learn how Obama’s jobs act will impact local economies. He says the president understands the three main components that drive economic recovery.

“President Obama is targeting funding for infrastructure. He’s targeting funding for education. Make sure we have enough teachers, keep the ones we’ve got and hire more. And he’s targeting public safety by making sure we’ve got police officers and firefighters on the street. Here in Saint Petersburg, I’ve said this for years. We try and attract a new business here; they are gonna come to a community or a state where there is a quality education system here, where the employees of the business are safe and where it’s easy to get too and from work.”

The president’s plan includes giving Florida more than $1.5 billion towards highway, transit, rail and aviation. The state would also receive almost $3 billion towards keeping teachers, firefighters and police officers on the job, as well as refurbishing and modernizing public schools. Kriseman says this jobs act would put more focus on putting the middle class back to work, returning military personnel from the current wars, and recently graduated college students. He adds he expects the Federal government to try to bypass the state government when it comes to dispersing the money.

“It’s gonna be grants that go directly to the cities and to the county. I know if I as the president that’s what I would do because I certainly wouldn’t want the state of Florida getting its hands on that money. That’s assuming they would accept it. And certainly if the president were to say to Florida we are gonna give you that money, I wouldn’t trust our governor wouldn’t take it”

Last month the Senate blocked the jobs package in its entirety. The president is now attempting to pass the legislation in pieces. However so far, the senate has already blocked $35 billion to hire teachers and first responders, as well as, 50-billion in highway rail and transit improvements. And just yesterday the president spoke in Pennsylvania, urging senate members to pass the next piece of the act which would extend and expand the payroll tax holiday. They are set to vote on the President’s proposal this week. Representative Kriseman says it is now up to Americans to push legislators to make the right move.

“People need to speak out. They need to write letters to the editors, they need to contact their legislators in congress there senators and representatives, and they need to tell them this isn’t about trying to create a one term president this is about moving the country forward, and its time to put partisanship behind you and do what’s best for the country. It isn’t about big corporations, Its about the men and woman of the middle class that are just trying to survive.”

To learn more about the jobs act, go online to whitehouse.gov. The website also provides the tools to calculate exactly how many jobs the legislation will bring to areas like St. Petersburg.

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