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Governor Signs Budget, Vetoes Pay Cut

May 27th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Governor Charlie Crist today signed a 66.5 billion-dollar state budget
that relies on a dollar a pack cigarette tax hike and raisers most
driverís license and car tag fees. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the
Governor also canceled a 2 percent cut for state workers and a
six-million-dollar cut to a fund for concealed weapons permits.

Cigarettes are going up by a buck, raising almost a billion dollars. Car
tags and driverís license fees will also go up, some by a third.

In signing the budget, the Governor axed just two items. The first cut
six million from a trust fund for concealed weapons permits. The NRA
asked for the veto, saying felons could have ended up with a permit
because of poor staffing.

Charlie Crist also canceled a two percent cut in state employee pay.

ďThese 28,000 people and their families are consumers too,” Crist said. “And I want
them to continue to have the ability to make purchases and help
stimulate Floridaís economy further.Ē

State agencies must still reduce their spending by 30 million to make up
for employees not taking the cut.

Because of the way lawmakers crafted the budget language, the
governorís veto is legally suspect.

The pay cut was championed by House Republicans. Their leadership could
challenge the Governorís action in court. For employees who thought they
were losing a minimum 900 hundred dollars, there is relief.

ďIím excited because my husbands been unemployed for over a year, so Iím
the bread winner right now,” Brenda Coleman with the Agency for Workforce Innovation said. “So, Lord, itís good. Iím very excited.

Billions in federal stimulus cash plugged huge budget holes and
prevented massive teacher layoffs, early prison releases, and the
shutdown of state parks.

The Governor and state Cabinet members will all take a two percent cut
from their 130 thousand dollar salaries. State lawmakers will see a
seven percent reduction in their 30 thousand dollar salaries. The new
fees take effect July first.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Economy, Legislature, State Budget, State News, Unemployment | No Comments »

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