Crist Signs Budget

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Gov. Charlie Crist has signed a penny-pinching $72 billion state budget.

He vetoed about$ 460 million in projects including new educational buildings and a proposed five percent tuition increase for state university and community college students.

The appropriations bill for the budget year beginning July first reflects a stagnant state economy, which has been suffering mostly from a decline in housing construction. It's Crist's first since taking office in January.

The budget (SB 2800) includes a $545 million increase in property taxes for public schools and at least two billion dollars in reserves to help tide the state over in case the economy takes another downturn.

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