Governor Rick Scott today makes his budget recommendation to lawmakers and talks in a news conference about what he is proposing.
The governor wants lawmakers to boost K-12 education spending by $1.2 billion, including $480 million for an across-the-board pay raise for classroom teachers. He also wants a tax break on the purchase of manufacturing equipment and a larger exemption on corporate income tax. Scott also plans to propose one-time bonuses for state workers.
Here is a compilation of analysis and reaction to Gov. Scott’s budget proposal:
Budget highlights here.
Budget FAQ here.
AIF’s Tom Feeney is pleased with the potential for growth:
“Gov. Scott’s budget proposal is all about growth – it plants the seeds of opportunity that will enable Florida businesses to grow and flourish, particularly industries critical to Florida’s future such as manufacturing.”
“Shedding additional tax burdens will enable Florida manufacturers to be more competitive, and put more money into business expansion and high-wage job creation. Manufacturing is making a rebound and, in Florida, this industry has unparalleled job creation potential given its impressive history of creating three indirect jobs for every direct job,” added Feeney.
The Everglades Foundation is impressed with the possible funding headed towards restoration:
“We thank Gov. Rick Scott for his proposed budget for restoring America’s Everglades. We strongly support his recommendation to provide $60 million for Everglades restoration,” said Eric Eikenberg, Everglades Foundation CEO. “We appreciate the governor’s commitment to Everglades restoration and we believe the Florida Legislature will more than match his recommendation. We look forward to working with Gov. Scott and the Legislature during the upcoming session to ensure that this funding proposal moves forward.”
Likewise, the Florida Forever Coalition sees the budget as a positive first-step:
“The Governor’s Florida Forever budget recommendation is a positive step forward for Florida. His $75 million recommendation puts Florida Forever back on the right track. With the economy recovering, it is important to allocate funds to preserve our state’s natural areas and protect the places that make Florida special. We look forward to working alongside the Governor this legislative session to advocate for the appropriation of funds for Florida Forever.”
The Florida Democratic Party notes Scott’s about-face:
“Twenty-two months out from re-election, with every reinvention failing, Scott is clearly flailing – desperately attempting to reverse course on his toxic Tea Party agenda. But Scott’s about-face on issue after issue is fooling no one and simply underscoring his central problem: he can’t be trusted. No wonder polling shows that Scott’s ‘chances for re-election are in jeopardy.’ “
Florida TaxWatch is pleased to see its recommendations incorporated into Scott’s proposal:
Florida TaxWatch is pleased to see that the Governor’s budget includes a number of efficiency measures,” said Dominic M. Calabro, President & CEO of Florida TaxWatch. “These ‘Enterprise-Wide Initiatives’ have all been recommendations of Florida TaxWatch’s Government Cost Savings Tax Force. Additionally, the proposed budget follows the recommendation of the very recent Florida TaxWatch study, Investing in Tourism, and allocates additional funding to support and expand Florida’s tourism industry.”
DEO Executive Director Jesse Panuccio is in lock-step:
“Funding proposed by Governor Scott for the Department of Economic Opportunity will help identify job creation and economic development opportunities, create economically competitive communities, and assist Florida’s workforce with finding employment. We have a responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and look forward to continuing to identify ways our agency can be transparent, accountable, and efficient, while having a positive effect on Florida families.”
The Florida Medical Association is “thrilled” with Scott’s budget proposal:
“The FMA is thrilled that Gov. Scott has made graduate medical education a priority in his budget recommendations. The proposed increase in GME funding would ensure more residency slots in Florida and, in turn, encourage physicians to remain in Florida once they complete their training. The governor clearly understands the importance of having a substantial supply of physicians to meet the increasing health care needs of Florida’s families. His commitment to GME funding will pay dividends to the state of Florida for years to come.”
House Democratic Whip Alan Williams reacts to @FLGovScott’s budget (via Troy Kinsey): “I would call it what I believe is the education of Gov. Scott.”
The Police Benevolent Association is saying thanks, but no thanks:
“We appreciate the Governor’s acknowledgement that the officers deserve a reward for their outstanding accomplishments,” said Matt Puckett, Florida PBA Executive Director. “But we believe base salary increases are long overdue. Some officers have gone six years without a wage increase due to state budget constraints — not poor performance. Therefore, although we appreciate the gesture, we are going to pursue salary increases through the Legislative budgeting process. We are hopeful that the Governor will have a change of opinion and support our efforts.”
The Sadowski Coalition is commending the Governor for recommending $50 million to fund the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program:
“The Sadowski Coalition is extremely pleased and encouraged to learn that Governor Scott has taken the lead on using dedicated revenue in Florida’s housing trust funds for SHIP, which is in critical need,” said Jaimie Ross, facilitator for the Sadowski Coalition and president of the Florida Housing Coalition. “If the monies dedicated for housing are used for their intended purpose, Florida is able to help the economy, while providing safe, affordable housing for Florida’s workforce and its most vulnerable populations, including the homeless, children, veterans, and the frail elderly.”
“The increasing strength of Florida’s housing market continues to help the state’s economy rebuild,” said Dean Asher, 2013 Florida Realtors president and broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates, Inc., in Orlando. “The housing recovery is putting people back to work in much-needed jobs, stimulating local spending and revitalizing communities. For Governor Scott to advocate setting aside $50 million to support crucial housing programs is a significant step, and one that realtors across Florida fully support.”