Candidates from across the Tampa Bay area were asked to complete our 2014 Legislative Candidate Questionnaire. Below are the responses for the candidates from Florida House District 34.

For the full list of Tampa Bay legislative candidates and their contact information, visit the 2014 Legislative Candidate Questionnaire home page.

Jimmie T. Smith (Republican) – Responded, Thank you! | 352-464-5556

Economic Issues & Taxes

1. What do you propose or support to increase economic prosperity within the State of Florida?

Smith:  Continued reductions in both taxes and job killing regulations

2. Excessive regulations can hamper small business growth. Which specific regulations, if any, would you repeal?

Smith:  We should formulate a state wide permitting process that would allow business to get through the process faster and be able to do multi-county business

3. The Florida Legislature passed a $77 billion budget in 2014, the largest in history, and the trend line indicates we will see another record next year. (A) Do you consider this to be a problem, and if so, (B) what specific actions would you recommend taking in order to better steward taxpayer dollars?

Smith:  The size of the budget that was passed this year was because of job and tourism growth. We need to continue to pay off state debt and put money towards the states rainy day fund.

4. Would you support legislation that would refund the $1.5 billion taxpayers’ investment in the now-cancelled Levy County Nuclear Power Plant? Why or why not?

Smith:  The Levy County Nuclear Power Plant fund has already seen expenditures in land, work done and the cost of permitting (as well as the obvious legal cost), we also passed legislation addressing this issue last year.


5. Do you support a repeal of Common Core State Standards (now rebranded to “Florida Standards”) in Florida? If not, what changes, if any, would you propose or support?

Smith:  Repeal


6. Do you support offshore drilling in Florida waters?

Smith:  yes

Civil Liberties

7. Would you support legislation in Florida that nullified the NSA’s ability to perform warrantless surveillance of Floridians?

Smith:  Nullification is assumed to be a state ability to do away with a federal law, the problem is that the NSA was already violating the law and nullification would not fit into this situation.

8. A bill was filed in the Senate in 2013 (SB 846: Search and Seizure of a Portable Electronic Device) that would have required that a search warrant be issued before a search of someone’s mobile device was permitted. Would you vote in support of this bill? Why or why not?

Smith:  I voted for it

9. Do you support a repeal of red light cameras in Florida? Why or why not?

Smith:  Yes


10. Should all drug offenders, even non-violent and first-time offenders receive mandatory sentences? Would you suggest policies other than incarceration to deal with drug use?

Smith:  No the courts should have discretion with non-violent and first-time offenders and only deal mandatory with violent or higher drug charges

11. Do you support the legalization of medical marijuana as proposed by the United for Care Amendment? Why or why not?

Smith:  No this would make medical marijuana legal for general consumption

12. Do you support drug testing of welfare recipients? Why or why not?

Smith:  I passed that law in 2011 session in the Florida House, it is currently law and is to eventually be decided on by the Supreme Court

The US Constitution

13. Do you support a state’s right to nullify federal law, as many have already done for example by legalizing medical marijuana, or blocking implementation of the Affordable Care Act?

Smith:  I have yet to be shown effective proof that the states can nullify a law, we need our federal legislators to actually carry the state message to the Congress. If I can be shown that the state can do this I would support it.

14. Would you have voted for Florida HB 209 – “Carrying Concealed Weapon or Concealed Firearm”, which would have granted an exception from criminal penalties for carrying a concealed weapon or a concealed firearm when evacuating? Why or why not?

Smith:  Yes I voted on and spoke on it on the Floor


15. There is no argument that health care costs are completely disconnected from a person’s ability to pay. What do you propose or support to help reduce the cost of health care services in Florida?

Smith:  First there is the Health Dep., Emergency Rooms, there is also the ability to negotiate with the Dr.’s. The true cost is catastrophic and geriatric cost and that is yet to be addressed

16. Would you vote in favor of Florida accepting the federal funds set aside for Medicaid Expansion? Why or why not?

Smith:  No I would not put the nation further into debt, put more people into a system that is already lacking medical professionals which causes people already on the system to not get the care they need.

Government Fairness and Transparency

17. What are your thoughts on legislation that gives a competitive advantage to a specific company or industry?

Smith:  I do not believe in corporate welfare or picking winners and losers, yet I would support incentives to get a business to more here.

18. In several recent studies, Florida has been found to be in either the top 10 or the top 5 most corrupt states in the nation. What do you propose or support to help reduce corruption in Florida?

Smith:  The study that I saw was from 2000-2010 and I was elected as part of the group to come in and fix that issue, term limits are working.

19. Currently, millions of dollars in campaign contributions filter through political committees that are controlled by legislative leaders. (A) Do you consider this a problem, and if so, (B) what, if anything, would you suggest be done about it?

Smith:  As shown by the loss of Eric Cantor, I do not feel it is a problem, we just need candidates with better messaging.

20. In February 2013, Watchdog group Integrity Florida reported[1] that Enterprise Florida has failed to meet its job creation objective, lacks transparency, has the appearance of pay-to-play, is engaged in apparent conflicts of interest, and is picking winners and losers in the Florida economy by demonstrating state government favoritism to certain companies and industries. Would you support an Inspector General investigation into Enterprise Florida and legislation to take corrective actions?

Smith:  In the aspect of clarity I do support open government.

Any additional comments or thoughts:


[1] Ben Wilcox and Dan Krassner: “Enterprise Florida: Economic Development or Corporate Welfare?”

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