Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State Government Commission Lists Goals to Improve Quality of Life

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State Government Commission Lists Goals to Improve Quality of Life

Article excerpt

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida needs better public education, less

crime, a cleaner environment and more jobs in the next

millennium, a state government commission said in a report

issued yesterday.

The report by the Florida Commission on Government

Accountability to the People sets goals for improving the

quality of life in 60 areas ranging from health to racial

harmony.

Gov. Lawton Chiles said meeting the goals could cost money, but

it will cost more to ignore them.

The statewide commission was in part modeled on the

Jacksonville Community Council Inc., which has been tracking the

quality of life in Duval County since 1985.

Despite the shortcomings found in many areas, the report found

that 77 percent of Floridians felt that Florida was a good or

excellent place to live, a figure that was up 10 percentage

points since 1994.

While the commission saw room for improvement, it also saw many

areas in which the state was doing comparatively well.

Although Florida had a higher percentage of children in poverty

than most large states, it had a smaller percentage of poor

elder citizens.

The commission recommended reducing the percentage of children

in poverty from 18 percent to 14 percent by 2010 and the

percentage of poor elders from 10 percent to 8.

The crime rate has been going down, although it is still above

the national average and violent crime by juveniles is

increasing.

The number of violent crimes per 100,000 population should be

reduced from 1,050 to 850 by 2010, the report said.

One of the most troubling areas has been the number of recent

high school graduates who are not prepared for college, with 63

percent needing remediation in community colleges and 8.6

percent in state universities.

The report recommended reducing the figures to 25 percent for

community colleges and 5 percent for universities by 2010. …

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