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From Strong to Challenged

March 3rd, 2009 by flanews

Tonight Governor Charlie Crist says Florida is Challenged. It took Crist just 18 minutes to deliver his State of the State address. Crist called on lawmakers to find more money for education and to create more jobs, but as Whitney Ray tells us, the governor is asking lawmakers to meet his challenges without raising taxes.

Hear it Here: From Strong to Challenged

Just one year ago Governor Charlie Crist called the State of the State strong. Tuesday night he changed his tune.

The state of our state maybe challenged today, but my friends the determination of our people is stronger than ever, said Crist.

The speech was just 18 minutes. Shorter yet were the applause from lawmakers. When Crist called for quick action on the Seminole Gaming Compact no one left their seat.

Whether youre for or against gaming, the compact makes sense, and it deserves your support for our people, said Crist.

Crist asked lawmakers to spend five billion of the states federal stimulus dollars to keep taxes low. House Democrats, who have filed legislation to lift tax exemptions, raise the sales tax, and charge more for cigarettes to fund schools and health care, were disappointed.

Hes got to look at other forms of revenue and hes got to be open to it, said House Democrat Jim Waldman.

Crist is asking lawmakers to increase per student spending. Senator Al Lawson says the legislature cant do it with federal stimulus dollars alone.

I would like to know where youre going to get the resources. Are you going to look at some of the Democratic plans about how we bring more money into education, asked Democratic Senator Al Lawson.

Crists answer was brief.

I just dont think its an option we have to go to, said Crist.

Democrats werent the only ones upset with Crists plan. Even some Republicans say the governor is relying too heavily on federal stimulus dollars.

House Republicans are afraid the budget deficit will only get worse over time if the state uses federal stimulus dollars to fund reoccurring expenses like education and health care. Some Democrats and Republicans want to see a bulk of the money spent on infrastructure.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Economy, Elections, Gambling, Health, Highways, Legislature, State Budget, State News, Taxes | No Comments »

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