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Lawmakers Near Final Budget Vote

April 30th, 2010 by flanews

The legislature is poised to pass a 70 billion dollar state spending plan that protects state workers, creates jobs, and increases funding for higher education. But its not all good and, as Whitney Ray tells us, theres no guarantee the governor will sign it.

To fill a three billion dollars budget deficit lawmakers were considering laying off state workers, axing a prenatal program, and eliminating state funds for libraries.

Bookworms convinced lawmakers to cough up 21 million dollars.

In a tough year, to still come through for us libraries, we appreciate it, said Paul Clark, a librarian who lobbied all session to restore funding.

State workers dodged layoffs and pay cuts.

Our members would have been extremely upset if the three percent pay cut when through, said Doug Martin, with AFSCME

And needy mothers will still get the free care and counseling they need to give birth to health babies. But saving workers, libraries, and babies comes at a price. Lawmaker are taking money from health care, child abuse programs and roads.

House Democrat Ron Saunders says the 160 million dollar raid on the transportation trust fund will slow job growth.

We need to create jobs, not cause job loss, said Saunders.

24 million dollars and thousands of inmates are being taken from state prisons and pumped into a private prison.

This is an unnecessary facility. We are not at capacity, said PBA Spokesman Matt Puckett.

And tuition is being raised and Bright Futures wont cover the extra cost. Still college students, road workers, and correctional officers are holding out hope that the governor will hear their cries for a veto, some Democrats support the idea.

If I think the budget can be made better, I want the governor to veto and lets get back up here and do it right, said Aronberg.

Crist could veto the whole budget or just line items. Hes vetoed at least parts of the budget every year since he became governor. If Governor Charlie Crist vetoes the budget, lawmakers would likely be back in Tallahassee in June, because the state constitution requires the legislature and the governor to agree on a spending plan before July first.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Children, Criminal Justice, Health, Highways, Legislature, State Budget, State News, Transportation | 1 Comment »

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