Jeb Bush signed his eighth and final state budget as governor this week. The record $71.3 billion spending plan was whittled down by a record $448 million in gubernatorial vetoes.
Jeb Bush took a walk down memory lane as he explained each item of the budget. His explanations were full of comparisons to what things were like before he got the job and what they are now.
"This budget represents our conservative approach to government."
Schools will see the largest increase ever. There is money for middle school reading, building more class rooms, and a five percent teacher bonus.
"The state's providing $18.8 billion, which is an increase of 10.76 percent, roughly $1.8 billion to fund public schools from kindergarten through high school. That's $7,000 per student, an increase of nearly nine percent per student."
University and Community College tuition will go up, but there is $298 million in tax relief, including a new week of sales tax free purchases of energy efficient appliances the first week of October.
With the stroke of his pen, the largest ever state budget became law. For Bush, it was one of many last acts to come. "And it's fun. I love the budget. I'm just, call me wacky, but it is, it's important for the governor to be immersed in the details of the budget."
One Bush legacy the next governor will appreciate is the massive $6.4 billion this governor put away in the states rainy day account.
He also vetoed more than $400 million worth of spending projects. Here’s the list of vetoed projects in our area:
$4,000,000 BAY MEDICAL CENTER(INDIGENT CARE)
$3,000,000 NWF TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR AUTHORITY
$1,000,000 WEST BAY SEAGRASS EVALUATION/RESTORATION
$1,000,000 COMMITTEE FOR A SUSTAINABLE EMERALD COAST
$800,000 BOB SIKES WATER RECLAMATION EXPANSION
$750,000 GENERAL USE SHELTER-CHATTAHOOCHEE
$571,000 CAMP HELEN ENVIRONMENTAL LAB
$500,000 SEWER PLANT LAND PURCHASE-CRESTVIEW
$350,000 TRAINING TOWER/BURN BLDG-OKALOOSA
$350,000 LAKE JACKSON BIKE PATH(WALTON CO.)
$250,000 OKALOOSA/CRESTVIEW MULTI PURPOSE FACILITY
$221,000 FORT WALTON REUSE WATER SUYTME EXPANSION
$200,000 VETS PARK -BRISTOL
$200,000 CARRABELLE PARK PHASE II
$125,000 BLOUNTSTOWN MUNICIPLE BUILDING
$110,000 FORT WALTON STORM DRAINAGE IMPROVEMENT
$100,000 CAMPBELLTON WATER SYSTEM UPGRADE
$100,000 SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTER-LIBERTY COUNTY
$50,000 WALTON COUNTY FAIR
$50,000 GRITNEY EMERGENCY SERVICES-HOLMES CO
$50,000 PROSPERITY EMERGENCY SERVICES-HOLMES CO.
To see a complete statewide list of those vetoes and check out the budget, simply click on: www.myflorida.com