Democratic Ranking Member Statement Rep. Charles Chestnut Comments on Governor Scott’s Budget Action
“THIS BUDGET FAILS FLORIDA’s FAMILIES”
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Rep. Charles Chestnut (D-Gainesville), the Democratic Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the governor’s action today on the state budget for Fiscal Year 2012-13.
“The Republican-crafted budget signed by Governor Scott today is an assault on Florida’s middle class with deep cuts to health care and higher education. At a time when the Legislature could have focused more extensively on job creation, the Republican spending plan cuts more than 4,300 positions from state government and slashes funding for hospitals, nursing homes and universities. Though monies are put toward important projects, this budget fails to meet the overall needs of our state and eliminates jobs that could bolster Florida’s economic rebound.
“The education portion of the budget is $2.1 billion less than what the Legislature put toward public schools only five years ago, and it fails to fully restore the massive cuts to our schools that the Republican leadership approved only a year ago.
“While some people say that the budget is crafted without new taxes, it raises tuition and relies upon mandatory contributions, or what I call a personal income tax, of 3 percent on teachers, firefighters, police officers and hundreds of thousands of other participants in the Florida Retirement System.
“In addition, we cannot forget that the Republican-run Legislature has passed on to Florida’s middle class millions of dollars in new costs in the form of higher driver’s license and auto-tag fees starting three years ago.
“This budget fails Florida’s families and moves our great state in the wrong direction.”
CONTACT: Mark Hollis