Gov. Scott's proposed DCF cuts draw concern

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On the spreadsheet, the Florida agency that helps poor and desperate people is in trouble.

Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget lays off 1,849 Department of Children and Families employees and slices $278 million out of the agency that oversees homelessness and health care; substance abuse, domestic violence and mental health.

Three of the state’s mental health hospitals run by the department would, under the proposal, be privatized. Currently, more than 1,200 employees of those facilities in Gainesville, Chattahoochee and Macclenny, are part of the DCF’s payroll. They likely wouldn’t be losing their jobs, but their checks would be signed by someone else.

That means most of the DCF staffing cuts look only to be on paper, that the social services offered through DCF likely will continue for people who need them.

Still, some voiced concern.

Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich, D-Weston, vice-chairwoman over the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Appropriations, lambasted the governor’s proposal, calling the recommendations “voodoo economics.” Continue reading Keith Morelli’s story here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.