Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yup, this could be a problem

But quality of life remains the biggest risk to the Florida dream. So many Northeastern transplants are leaving Florida for other states with less congestion and better education systems that they have their own nickname: Halfbacks. In 2000, Florida attracted 19% of the nation's migrating seniors; by 2006, it was only 13%. Florida still has some of America's richest ZIP codes, but it ranks among the worst states in school spending and health coverage.

The GOP-controlled legislature has responded to the state's woes with protracted arguments about evolution and other Terri Schiavo--style social issues as well as legislation proposing crackdowns on bikers who pop wheelies, students who wear droopy pants and truckers who hang fake cojones on their rigs. It also slashed $5 billion from the state budget. "I just got in an argument about whether we're 50th or 45th in the nation in graduation rates," says Florida house minority leader Dan Gelber. "What a great debate to have."

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