Editor:

A recent study aired on WINK ranked Florida right up there with California, New York and Massachusetts as a non-affordable place to live, stating a resident needed to have an income of $41,400 just to make ends meet. Even with John Morgan pushing our legislators to make the minimum wage $15/hour, working Floridians will still be in a very deep hole with no apparent way out! Just look at the math: 40 hours X $15/hr. = $31,200/yr. That's $10,200 short of barely making it and "affordable housing" will always remain beyond reality for far too many residents.

Next, factor in the fact that Florida proudly boasts a tourist- based economy. Few employers give their employees 40 hours a week, even in season. Employees often must work two or more jobs to barely get by and still they have no benefits. Factor in things like hurricanes, red tide, dead fish, and algae — all making fewer tourists show up and things become even more dire for struggling state workers — through absolutely no fault of their own.

California, New York and Massachusetts have all expanded Medicaid so their lower income workers at least have health care when they need it. Why does Florida continue to refuse to recognize the need to join the 37 states that have made this help readily available? Isn't it time we stopped catering only to "special interests" and took care of the 28% of the residents that are disabled - many who can't even afford a flu shot?

Marilyn Foley

Punta Gorda

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