Florida Capitol Building Legislative Review
This week on Florida Matters: Florida lawmakers wrapped up another session last week after hashing out a $66.2 billion state budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. The $4 billion in cuts reflects the largest drop in spending over a year in the state's history. Two legislators talk about what the Florida House and Senate did and didn't do to affect some of the major changes in education, health care, and taxes across the board.

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Mel Downing in 1945 Mel and David Downing
Mel Downing was born in Newton Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, in August 1926. By his own admission, Mel didn't do well in high school. At the end of his ninth grade year he entered the New York Military Academy. He enlisted in the US Navy at 17 with his father's consent, and was assigned sea duty on the USS Gosper. He served two years in combat zones in the war's Pacific theater, and by age 19 Mel was a seasoned war veteran. He spoke with his son David about his war experience and how the impact of the war stays with him today.

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