Governor cuts $600M from Florida budget

May 27, 2011 at 3:04 PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., May 27 (UPI) -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the state budget after slashing $615 million, but a fellow Republican downplayed the cuts.

The signing ceremony Thursday was organized like a campaign event, The Miami Herald reported. Scott sat beneath a banner that read "Promises Made, Promises Kept" and boasted he has set a new record for vetoing items in the budget.

Scott said legislators should use the money he has freed up to support public education. He did not mention that the budget the Legislature approved increased spending for schools beyond the amount in his original proposal, the Herald said.

"I'm confident that most of us agree that school funding is far more important than spending those dollars on alligator marketing, or boat racing or anything else that the Tallahassee insiders think is so important," Scott said.

Dean Cannon, the Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives, said there is less to Scott's cuts than meets the eye. The governor vetoed $305 million for environmental land acquisition that would have been funded by selling surplus state lands.

Cannon said Scott's cuts, in fact, only free up about $100 million, enough to increase school funding by less than 1 percent.

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