TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami.com/NSF) – Florida Governor Rick Scott released his 2012-2013 $66.4 billion budget Wednesday that will have to tackle a projected $2 billion shortfall without raising taxes.
Scott said he will ask the state legilslature to increase per-student spending by $100 for a total of approximately $1 billion.READ MORE: Cyclist Killed In Overnight Hit And Run In Kendall
Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie already knows how he will spend the new money.
“One of the big issues is class size and we’ll invest in more teachers,” Runcie said. “One of the biggest hits has been to the arts, so we will do what we can to improve the outlook for children.”
South Florida parents like Kathleen Girouard say it’s about time Tallahassee invests in education.
- Click here to see high points on the budget from Governor Scott’s office.
“Absolutely welcome they will provide for children; it should have been a long time ago,” Girouard said. “I love these teachers. I feel for them. They give their lives and look what happens.
Democrats in the Florida Legislature pointed out Tuesday that while the increase in spending is good; the current year’s education spending was cut by $1.3 billion.
That means, according to Democrats, that spending after the proposed increase won’t bring education spending back to the level before Scott took office, according to the News Service of Florida.
Per-student spending peaked at more than $7,100 per child in 2007-2008. Since then, it has dropped by nearly $1,000 to the current year’s spending level of $6,262.READ MORE: Taste Of The Town: More To Mediterranean Dining At Abba Telavivian Kitchen In South Beach
According to the News Service of Florida, the proposed budget would cut 2,800 currently filled state jobs from across the government and would rely on cuts in health spending.
“We have to make choices,” Scott told the NSF.
But the cuts will be on top of the cuts that will have to be made to close the $2 billion budget hole.
Among the biggest targets of the cuts will be the state-federally funded Medicaid program.
Scott said Medicaid spending has grown 180 percent since 1999 while general revenue has only grown 30 percent.
Governor Scott also said that prison spending would decrease because the prison population is expected to shrink.
Overall, the proposed budget would be a 4.6 percent cut from last year, according to the NSF.MORE NEWS: ‘Just Really Shaken Up’: CBS4 Crew Attacked On South Beach While Working Story About Efforts To Cut Down On Violence There
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