By: Mike Springer
March 29, 2013
Tallahassee, FL-Teachers and state workers could be seeing big changes under the Florida House of Representatives newly proposed budget.
More than $20 billion is heading towards education and state workers are getting a raise under the House's 2013-2014 budget proposal.
"We prioritized more than anything, education. I think if you were to look at our budget and say who's the big winner this year in the budget for the Florida House of Representatives the big winner is education," said House Speaker, Will Weatherford.
Under the proposal, about $675 million is being set aside for teacher raises along with money going towards the students and classroom upgrades. There's also a call for a 6 percent tuition hike at state universities. And state workers would be in line for a $1400 dollar pay bump.
"If we are going to increase funding for teachers, we believe merit pay should be a part of it. We should be rewarding our wonderful teacher who go the extra mile," said Weatherford.
Robert Weissert is with the Florida TaxWatch. The group is a nonpartisan, government watchdog.
"Whether it's state employees or teachers, we are providing merit pay. We are giving the best and the brightest the most amount of money. That's really what we need to do. That's really a benefit for the taxpayers," said Weissert.
Governor Rick Scott released his proposed budget plan earlier this year. The legislature hopes to finalize the state's budget by early May.