Pubdate: Sat, 24 Aug 2002
Source: Bradenton Herald (FL)
Copyright: 2002 Bradenton Herald
Author: Stephen Heath


At Gov. Jeb Bush's campaign stop of Aug. 12, he said, "Every time I
think about my daughter, it's very hard."

Tens of thousands of Floridians can relate to that statement. Whenever
they think about Noelle Bush, they too feel, "It's very hard." These
would be the families of the 50,000-plus inmates of the Florida
Department of Corrections who saw Gov. Bush eliminate the entire state
drug-treatment budget for the upcoming fiscal year. (The Legislature
later restored just 40 percent of it.) This less than 36 hours before
his daughter was arrested on felony drug charges in

Bush campaigned for governor in 1998 with a promise for dramatically
increasing state funding for drug treatment and rehab with a reduction
in state prison and county jail time for simple drug possession
offenders. In fact, the budget for the upcoming year will be a half
million dollars less than 1999-2000. If we really want to know how
Gov. Bush feels about drug treatment versus jail for low-level
offenders, we don't need to read his lips. A simple, honest review of
his budget tells the real truth about the fate of Floridians busted
for drug possession whose last name is not Bush.

Public Relations Director
Drug Policy Forum of Florida
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MAP posted-by: SHeath(DPFFlorida)