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From Public Housing to the Governor's Mansion

Governor Scott started school living in public housing. As a result of a great public education, Governor Scott firmly believes that a high quality education is fundamental to a productive and successful life and that an educated workforce is the foundation upon which Florida can grow its economy in the 21st century.

 

As the level of Floridians' education increases, prison populations, the ranks of the unemployed, and government assistance programs - both health and personal assistance programs, trend downwards.

 

The federally mandated Medicaid program is bankrupting virtually all states in the nation. Since 2000, Florida's Medicaid program has grown from $7.7 billion to a projected $21.5 billion, a 180% increase while the state's general fund saw a 30% increase over the same time period. The result: Medicaid has consumed and continues to consume an ever increasing portion of the general fund budget - true in most states.

At the same time, prison populations across the country have trended downward in a recessionary economy providing rare opportunities for states to look at reductions in recidivism through reinvesting these savings in reentry programs, and other high priority programs such as education. 

On the home front, Florida toughened its stance on crime while refocusing on rehabilitation through effective reentry programs. The resulting effect, Florida's crime rate is at a 40 year low, Florida's revolving door cycle (recidivism rate) has decreased another 4% this past year, and the growth of Florida's inmate population has slowed and is actually starting a slow decline. As such, Florida has a unique opportunity to take excess prison bed capacity offline and continue to place resources toward those rehabilitative programs that produce desired outcomes such as reentry programs, substance abuse treatment, education, job skills training, and restoring good character through effective faith and character programs.

 

With a focus on grades K-12, Governor Scott is investing $1 BILLION IN EDUCATION FUNDING. This investment will provide the 3rd highest level of state funding ever into Florida's 67 school districts, and will cover 30 thousand new students, cover the shortfall in local property taxes for education, replace one time federal funds used in the current year, and, in fact, increase average per student funding from the current year.

 

This investment becomes possible by prioritizing education funding over other state programs, utilizing projected increased revenue from a recovering economy, and reversing the out of control Medicaid budget. While Governor Scott certainly does not take these very difficult decisions lightly, these recommendations come after listening to teachers, parents, students and other hard working Floridians throughout the state over the past few months. After engaging in numerous discussions throughout the state, the Governor has heard what the priorities are for Florida's families and feels that they are reflected in this budget. 



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Governor's Recommended Appropriations Bill (PDF 290kb) | View Budget Details

INTRODUCTIONSTEP 1
ACCOUNTABILITY BUDGETING
STEP 2
REDUCE GOVERNMENT SPENDING
STEP 3
REGULATORY REFORM
STEP 4
FOCUS ON JOB GROWTH AND RETENTION
STEP 5
WORLD CLASS EDUCATION
STEP 6
REDUCE TAXES
STEP 7
PHASE OUT FLORIDA'S CORPORATE INCOME TAX
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Users are on notice that the budget contains budget information developed throughout the budget process, including Governor's recommendations and legislative appropriations. Users are cautioned not to assume that the information represents the actual state budget. For example, the Governor's Budget Recommendations are merely recommendations, not the actual state budget.