Gov. Jeb Bush has signed off on the largest state budget ever, but he also vetoed a record number of projects. There's more money for schools, but it's only enough to keep the state's head above water.
With the stroke of his pen, Jeb Bush signed the $57.7 billion state budget that spends just under $3,400 for every man woman and child. Schools see a $1 billion increase, but even with the new money public schools are just treading water with enrollment increases and higher costs.
Community colleges and universities do much better, but students will pay more, up to 12.5 percent in universities and seven and a half percent for community colleges. There is money for Everglades restoration buying sensitive lands.
The governor also set a record for vetoes; $349.3 million was axed, cuts were courthouses and other pet projects of the House Senate leadership.
Gone two is seven million for Super Bowl security. The governor says it sets a precedent for every future game. Gone too is money for training First Responders, port security and more.
Average Floridians will see little change for the better or worse under the spending plan. It keeps the ship of state afloat and moving forward but does little else.
While nearly a third of the new budget is earmarked for education, schools say it still won’t meet the growing cost of transportation and health care, and teachers will likely have to forgo raises for another year.
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