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Nurses, Police, Teachers Lobby Lawmakers

April 22nd, 2009 by flanews

Nurses, police officers, and teachers are asking state lawmakers for more money. Stimulus dollars have kept the budget cuts lower than expected, but as Whitney Ray tells us, few state funded programs will avoid the budget ax.

Hundreds of signed petitions were hand carried to the House Speakers Office by concerned students and parents.

We are here because we think there are ways to raise money if they would just listen to us, said Gunner Paulson, Alachua County parent.

At the same time, more than a hundred nurses combed the halls of the state capitol asking lawmakers to save health care funding.

Youre not going to get the same results from less nurses, less doctors, less facilities, said nurse Lisa Bush.

The nurses and police officers say the budget decisions made in the House and the Senate could cost people their lives. Seventy Florida Department of Law Enforcement positions are on the line, 500 hundred correctional offices could be cut.

The community is suffering. The community is in danger. I said it before and Ill say it now, it is a great time to be a criminal, said John Riviera, the president of the Florida Police Benevolent Association.

Road construction Jobs are also at stake as lawmakers consider draining a transportation trust fund.

If they go through and divert over 400 million that is going to prevent us form going and getting back in line to get more stimulus dollars, said Doug Callaway with Floridians for Better Transportation.

The Governor and Legislative leaders say it will all work out in the end, but with a three billion dollar budget hole to fill, everyone will leave the table unhappy. State Universities are facing one of the biggest blows from the budget ax. Higher education is facing a state spending cut of more than 300 million dollars.

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