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Bush Submits Budget

Gov. Jeb Bush is submitting his proposed budget for 2006-2007. Gov. Bush and Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings announce they want to budget more than $81 million towards education in Florida.

About $55 million of that is for E-Comp, a performance pay plan rewarding teachers through bonuses based on the academic progress of their students.

"We do have some concerns on how those dollars will be used and how they will be distributed. The details have not been worked out yet. But anytime they put more money into teachers' salaries, we're pleased with that,” says Leon County School Superintendent Bill Montford.

Another 26 million budget dollars would be used to partially offset university tuition rate increases. Leon County school officials say this will encourage local high school students.

"This will enable more of our students to attend universities,” Montford adds.

Another non-education priority is emergency preparedness and recovery, Bush and Jennings suggest $133 million.

"We applaud any funding for emergency preparedness and educating our citizens on the need to be prepared prior to hurricane season and throughout the year. We hope that some of those funds will make it down to the local level,” says Richard Smith, Director of Leon County Emergency Management.

The total budget recommendation is an additional $420 million for the 2006/2007 fiscal year.

This will also include $8.5 million for public safety, $124 million to fund Medicaid rate increases for health care providers, and almost $50 million for human services.

For additional information on the governor's budget, you can visit http://www.myflorida.com


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