Several Senate Democrats complained Tuesday that Governor Rick Scott’s proposed $74 billion budget includes money the state may not have and said it was a feel-good, but unrealistic suggestion. Things in his proposed spending plan “smack of politics and it’s likely we won’t even be able to do them,” lamented Sen. Darren Soto during a caucus meeting. “It’s a set-up. There’s funny money in this current budget.” Soto said revenue estimates project no more than $71 billion being available.
Scott’s proposed budget would spend $2.3 billion more in general revenue than current year spending, while state economists have projected general revenue growth of $1.2 billion. The governor’s budget counts growth in money left last year in cash reserves, money from a national mortgage settlement, sweeps of unused money in trust funds, and about $1 billion more in federal money, mostly in Medicaid. The budget also includes nearly a $1 billion increase in transportation spending, partly through bonding. Sen. Arthenia Joyner also said the Scott proposal was politically-motivated. “This is a continuation of his pie-in-the sky gift to people,” Joyner said.
Material from the News Service of Florida was used in this post.