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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Local attorney hopes to shift state’s focus to education, reproductive rights

<p>Andrew Morey, a UF Levin College of Law alumnus, plans to focus on education and women’s reproductive rights if elected to the state House of Representatives.</p>

Andrew Morey, a UF Levin College of Law alumnus, plans to focus on education and women’s reproductive rights if elected to the state House of Representatives.

Andrew Morey is passionate about education — he even married a schoolteacher.

But the UF Levin College of Law graduate said he’s seen a state House unwilling to fund basic services like schools and environmental protection programs.

Morey said if he is elected to the Florida House of Representatives, he would work to place more of an emphasis on education and women’s reproductive rights.

He said many of the state’s problems could be alleviated in the future if the state legislature would increase funding to both K-12 schools and higher education.

Morey points to a government statistic that said for every $1 spent on education now, $7 are saved down the road in terms of court or prison costs, welfare and other assistance programs.

“We need to produce a well-educated work force,” he said. “It’s not just me that wants to make sure our state has well-funded education. It’s our people; it’s in our Constitution.”

The Florida legislature voted to include an amendment in the state constitution that required the state to fund high-quality public education. Morey, however, said since the amendment was passed, he has noticed a trend of decreasing funding to public schools.

He said this means a financial burden has shifted to local school districts and counties trying to fill budget gaps. One symptom of this, he said, was the penny sales tax up for renewal on this year’s ballot. The tax would provide for K-12 arts, guidance and other programs in the county.

“We wouldn’t have to do things like this if Tallahassee did its job,” Morey said.

Another concern he voiced was the steadily decreasing funding UF has received from the state. He said he disagrees with the state’s decision to fund the creation of Florida’s 12th public university — the Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland — especially when funding for UF and other schools is being cut annually.

He said he would like to increase funding to education by eliminating tax breaks for corporations.

“We need to stop cutting taxes on multistate corps and start investing in education, Bright Futures and higher education,” Morey said.

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Contact Shelby Webb at swebb@alligator.org.

Andrew Morey, a UF Levin College of Law alumnus, plans to focus on education and women’s reproductive rights if elected to the state House of Representatives.

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