Democrats call Rick Scott’s proposed budget a “shell game”

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Gov. Rick Scott rolled out his $74 billion election-year budget Wednesday, featuring $600 million in cuts as well as increasing spending for schools, the environment and child services.

Almost immediately, Democrats condemned the “misguided priorities” of the budget, saying the governor “dedicates millions of dollars” to corporations and special interest groups.

In a statement issued today, Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant says Scott “fails to invest in education,” while falsely claiming to deliver higher levels of funding.  

“Fully two-thirds of his new education funding comes from rising property taxes,” Tant adds, saying that the governor promised to lower property taxes during the campaign, but now is “just playing a shell game with the public.”

“You simply can’t trust Rick Scott,” Tant says. “The real fact behind his education budget is that as Florida’s public education system grows every year and our investment in our children has not kept pace … but the facts are the facts.”

Tant also blasted Scott for not restoring funding to the Bright Futures Scholarship program, instead giving tax dollars to “corporate, for-profit charter schools.”

Scott told reporters that the budget reduces Florida’s debt by $170 million, not including the $3.6 billion debt reduction the governor already achieved.

With an improving economy, the state has more money to work with this year than in 2013. It is the second year in a row that revenues increased. 

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.