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‘It’s working!’: Executive agency veto statement round-up

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

In the wake of this morning’s budgetary blood bath that left $431 million in state spending on the Rotunda floor, state senators have had a thing or two to say about Gov. Rick Scott‘s line-item veto spree.

So have the governor’s many boosters within state governmental agencies, who worked up prepared statements and sent them out into the world today.

Below is a selection of statements from the inside looking out.

Department of Education —

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said, “We are fortunate to have Governor Scott leading our state for many reasons, but most importantly because he is determined to make Florida the best place to receive an education, get a job and raise a family. He has been a true champion for our state’s students and, as a result, our education system is receiving historic funding that will help ensure our schools have the resources they need to prepare our students for success in college, career and life.”

Marva Johnson, State Board of Education Chair, said,
“Thanks to Governor Scott’s commitment to providing Florida families with access to a world-class education, our education system has been funded at a record level and per-pupil funding has increased. In the blink of an eye, the students in today’s classrooms will be joining the workforce, and this funding is essential to ensuring they have the skills necessary to compete in a global economy.”

John A. Colón, State Board of Education Member, said,
“I commend Governor Scott for proposing historic education funding and urging the Legislature to make it a priority. Florida’s students deserve the best chance at a successful future and the additional funding allocated to Florida’s education system will be vital in preparing our students to excel in whatever higher education and career fields they choose to pursue.” 

Doug Tuthill, president, Step Up For Students, said, “I applaud Governor Scott and the Legislature for their commitment to making sure every student gets a quality education. The increase of $36.6 million for Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts will help fund specialized services for an additional 3,600 students with disabilities.”

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie said, “We thank Governor Scott for his commitment to making Florida a leader in education. We applaud his proposal for per-pupil funding, and know that the increase in funding will help to provide Florida students with a high-quality education enabling them to compete in a highly-skilled, global job market.”

Miami Dade County Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said, “Governor Scott understands that an investment in our students is an investment in Florida’s future. Thanks to his determination and persistence, education funding is at an all-time high. The increase of more than $200 per student will go a long way in providing students the best education possible.”

Department of Children & Families –

Mike Carroll, secretary of the Department of Children and Families, said, “This budget further demonstrates Governor Scott’s commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable Floridians. With these resources, we will have more tools available to support struggling families so they can recover and thrive.”

Tiffany Carr, president/CEO of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said, 
“Family violence threatens child is consistently a top call to the Florida Abuse Hotline; to address this, we are pleased that Governor Scott recognized the need for services to protect families that are threatened by domestic violence. This budget will expand statewide the highly successful FCADV Child Protection Investigation (CPI) Projects, as well as provide additional DCF attorneys who will be able to seek injunctions that protect both the child and domestic violence survivor from a violent perpetrator.”

Shelley Katz, chair of the Florida Coalition for Children (FCC) and Chief Operating Officer of Children’s Home Society of Florida, said, “We are very appreciative of the investment in Florida’s children demonstrated in this budget.  Investment in critical core services, including the case management workforce as well as training stipends for students who want to enter the field of child welfare will yield great dividends for the vulnerable and at risk children in our state.”

Agency for People with Disabilities –

Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) Director Barbara Palmer said, “We are very excited about the budget for the coming year. I thank Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for their continued leadership and support of individuals with disabilities in our state. This is the third year that APD has received funding to serve people on the waiting list. This money will allow those with immediate needs to enroll into the Medicaid waiver. I appreciate Governor Scott’s confidence in APD and the people we serve.”

Family Care Council Florida Chairperson Pauline Lipps said, “We thank Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for continuing to reduce the APD waiting list of individuals with developmental disabilities across the state. We are grateful that an additional $40 million will serve more than 2,000 people in need of community services. We are also pleased that $1 million will go toward employment programs for individuals with developmental disabilities who need additional assistance on the job.”

Parent and past chairperson of the Family Care Council Florida Betty Kay Clements, said, “I am pleased about Governor Scott’s 2015-16 Keep Florida Working Budget and how it strongly supports people with disabilities. With $1million for the Employment Enhancement Project, APD will be able to continue to support the employment contributions that individuals with developmental disabilities can make as they highlight their many abilities. Individuals who have received APD support for employment say they are proud to work and make a difference in their communities.”

The Association of Support Coordination Agencies of Florida chairperson Janice Phillips said, “We are thrilled with the 2015-16 Keep Florida Working Budget that provides an $8 million rate increase to waiver support coordinators.  We thank Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for this much-needed increase to these front line workers who advocate for people with developmental disabilities. This critical increase will help keep these dedicated and diligent professionals out in their communities working to assist individuals with disabilities so they are successful in reaching their goals.”

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Executive Director Debra Dowds said, “We appreciate Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for their continued support to address the needs of Floridians with developmental disabilities. This additional funding will allow many more people with developmental disabilities on the APD waiting list to be offered waiver enrollment and to receive employment services so they may be independent and meaningfully participate in their communities.”

Department of Economic Opportunity —

DEO Executive Director Jesse Panuccio said, “Florida’s economy has experienced a remarkable turnaround under Governor Scott’s pro-growth policies and budget priorities. The ‘Keep Florida Working’ budget does just that. This budget helps keep Floridians working by expanding private-sector opportunities and gives everyone in our state a chance to live their own piece of the American Dream.”

President & CEO of Enterprise Florida Bill Johnson said, “I congratulate Governor Scott on the signing of his ‘Keep Florida Working’ budget. There was a great deal of work done by the Governor and Legislature to get this important budget passed, and they should be commended for their efforts. Economic development has become increasingly competitive across the United States and around the world. EFI’s business development toolkit is vital to the work we do to compete and share Florida’s business story. We know Florida has the resources companies need to be successful – a large and diverse workforce, an expansive multi-modal infrastructure, and unique access to global markets – but for Florida to compete for game-changing economic development projects, we must be able to provide the same support and resources offered by our competitors. We are thankful to the Legislature for their attention toward Florida’s job creation efforts, and I’m hopeful that our leaders will continue to prioritize economic development so we can bring more high-skill, high-wage jobs to our state.”

Tom Feeney, president and CEO of the Associated Industries of Florida, said, “Thousands of individuals and families across Florida have benefitted from Governor Scott’s policies prioritizing job growth in this state. This budget continues the pro-growth initiatives put in place to increase opportunities for those who live and work in Florida.”

Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, said, “The Florida Chamber thanks Governor Scott for building on Florida’s economic success by signing a budget that puts money back into the pockets of Floridians and positions Florida to be even more competitive in the future. While everyone doesn’t always get what they want, Governor Scott believes that growing the economy is the best way to grow Florida.”

Office of Early Learning —

Rodney MacKinnon, interim executive director of the Office of Early Learning, said, “Governor Scott clearly understands the importance of early learning when it comes to Florida’s future. It is good to see that our state will be continuing to invest in Florida’s youngest citizens and their families.”

David Lawrence Jr., chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida, said, “While much more needs to be done to make early learning the priority it needs to be, I am grateful for the progress that was made and the governor’s leadership in this.”

Matt Guse, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend Region and chair of Florida’s Association of Early Learning Coalitions, said, “The Governor’s budget means that early learning coalitions will be able to serve more children and families through school readiness programs. Providing early education to children and helping families get child care so they can work or get the training or education they need to be able to work is good for the communities we serve.”

Harry Duncanson, chair of the Early Learning Advisory Council, said, “Early education and care benefit Florida’s youngest children and their families. More communities and more businesses recognize that quality early learning ties directly to economic development. We are pleased with the governor’s continued recognition and support of early learning in Florida.”

Roy Keister, president of the Florida Association for Child Care Management (FACCM), said, “As a child care provider and as a representative of providers across the state, I am grateful for the additional resources that will become available as a result of this budget. Providers can serve additional children and families as a result. We are appreciative of Governor Scott’s investment in early learning.”

Ellen McKinley, board president of the Child Development Educational Alliance, said, “The teachers who work closely with our young children have a positive impact on early learners. Governor Scott’s budget recognizes the value of investing in those teachers. We are grateful for his support.”

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