Bush Announces New Florida Budget

The governor unveiled his new budget Wednesday, and even some of Bush’s biggest critics had good things to say about the spending plan.

This is the eighth budget Jeb Bush has submitted to the Legislature, and it’s his biggest one yet.

Gov. Jeb Bush said, “Today I'm recommending a budget of $70.8 billion.”

That includes one and one half billion dollars in tax cuts for businesses and homeowners, and two sales tax holidays for hurricane supplies and back to school shopping.

“Not only do Floridians deserve tax relief, they need it," he added.

Floridians are feeling the financial effects of higher property taxes, increasing insurance rates and rising energy costs. Bush wants to spend more on just about everything in state government including health care, human services, roads, hurricane preparedness, education and the environment.

Eric Draper of the Florida Audubon Society said, “Well, you know, usually we’re complaining about the governor and his budget, but in this case he really has delivered something that made us happy.”

Even the governor’s arch-rivals at the teacher’s union had good things to say about his education budget, but spokesman Mark Pudlow wonders why Bush never mentioned teacher pay raises.

Mark Pudlow of the Florida Education Association said, “We thought it was interesting that the governor enumerated dozens of programs that he was earmarking money for and nowhere in there was there anything for salaries.”

Bush’s budget now goes to the state Legislature, which has the final say on his $70 billion wish list.