Florida: Scott Calls for More Education Spending, Less on Medicaid

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, December 8, 2011

Marking a clear shift in priorities, Gov. Rick Scott proposed a $66 billion budget that includes a large increase in education funding.

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday put forth a state budget for next year that boosts public school spending by $1 billion, partly by sharply cutting what Florida pays hospitals to treat patients in the highly expensive Medicaid program.

"I will not sign a budget that does not significantly increase state funding for education," Scott said at a news conference in the Capitol, a clear veto threat directed at his fellow Republicans in the Legislature.” We’ve got to really focus on education."

In a $66.4 billion budget he says makes "tough choices," Scott proposes to cut 4,500 state jobs, raise monthly medical premiums for highly-paid state employees and legislators, increase bonus money to high performing schools, continue privatization of the prison system — despite legal obstacles — and close up to six state prisons and work camps due to a shrinking inmate population.

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