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Tensions Mount Over Budget Cuts

April 9th, 2008 by flanews

Pressure on lawmakers is mounting under grim reports of a dwindling budget. Finger pointing in Tallahassee is creating tensions between Democrats and Republicans. As Whitney Ray tells us, Democrats blame Republicans for cuts targeting the needy, but Republicans say Democrats had their turn.

Hear it here: Tensions Mount Over Budget Cuts

The mood was jovial outside the Capitol Wednesday, as the governor served an oversized paella to all comers. But everyones mind was on the debate inside.

Doing more with less, thats what this is all about, said Governor Charlie Crist. We dont have a choice.

With a starving budget, there are grim predictions of elderly (dying) without Hospice, criminals being released from prison, and children who cant compete because schools are getting less money than last year. House Democrats say cutting sales tax exemptions like those on bottled water would save programs that help the needy. Democrats blame Republicans for protecting tax exemptions while cutting health care funding, schools, and prisons. An editorial in a respected newspaper called lawmakers heartless.

You tell me whose being cold hearted when we have a Republican leadership saying these are the cuts that we will make, said House Democrat Joyce Cusack.

Republicans say Democrats had their chance.

A lot of the issues we have today probably were created before the Republicans were in leadership, said Eduardo Gonzalez, a Republican Representative.

While education and health care fought a losing battle in the chambers, an optimistic Governor continued to serve paella. Wednesday, lawmakers adopted amendments to the budget proposals. Both the House and the Senate will vote on the plans later this week.

Posted in Criminal Justice, Elections, Health, Legislature, State Budget, State News | No Comments »

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