Governor Unveils Budget Plan

Rick Scott began his budget unveiling by applauding an improving economy, comparing it to the four years before he took office.

Scott proposes spending 6,800 dollars per student. That's a 400 dollar increase in per student funding. Still the 6,800 is less than the four years before he took office.

"This billion dollar investment sustains last year's billion dollar investment in K-12," said Governor Scott.

While per student funding is still lagging, a budget sets a record for spending in K-12.

30,000 new students will hit classrooms next year eating a lot of the new money. Scott wants to give teachers an across the board 2,500 dollar raise.

Teachers say it is better than nothing.

"It's a beginning we're way behind I think where we should be in public education," said Leon County teacher David Worrell.

Scott would cut the state work force by 3,000, using the savings to offer one time 1,200 dollar bonuses. Police unions say the Governor’s plan doesn’t go far enough.

"They have taken a 5% cut if you add the contribution to the retirement system plus the two percent payroll tax. So we would like to see an increase to their base salary," said Mark Puckett.

When it comes to tuition, universities say a proposed 118 million in new cash will keep them from seeking tuition hikes.

"That's a bargain the presidents and Board of Governors are willing to make," said UF President Bernie Machen.

Scott also wants to cut taxes for manufacturing equipment. He says it's a way to keep the economy humming.

Scott is also proposing increases for community colleges and job placement money for the developmentally disabled.


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