The only bill that the Florida Legislature is required by law to pass every session is the state budget. That august body, however, never fails to produce a few self-generated doozies on the side.
Figuring that 114 specialty car tags were already enough, the legislature had actually placed a moratorium on future plates in a past session, but this one was special: It celebrated Hispanic heritage in an election year.
We’re talking about millions of potential voters here, so we might as well just toss the rules in the basura.
I have nothing against “Hispanic Achievers,” as the legend on the new tag reads. Lord knows Florida has plenty of them. But I fear it unintentionally creates a whole class of newly aggrieved minorities, to wit: Polish Achievers, Micronesian Achievers and Achievers from the Maldives, to cite but a few.
They did show enough sense to water down the original slogan from "Hispanics Discovered Florida," to "Since 1513 helping communities prosper.” The original wording implied that all the Indians living here before Ponce de Leon came along were just sitting around, waiting to be legitimized by white Europeans.
And then there’s the illustration of the sailing vessel, which looks suspiciously like the Santa Maria. Unless I’m mistaken, she was captained by an Italian Achiever.
At least they left the Maltese Cross emblems off the sails. Their inclusion would, no doubt, have engendered a round of lawsuits from the ACLU.
Knowing the leanings of this legislature, it was probably an oversight.