Florida Papers Trash Rick Scott’s “Horrendous,”
“Secret,” “Deceitful” Budget Deal
From Pensacola to Miami, Florida editorial boards are blasting Gov. Rick Scott’s shady budget deal with Tallahassee insiders. Unfortunately, Floridians won’t be surprised, because this is exactly the kind of self-interested dealmaking Floridians have come to expect from Rick Scott. He’s always only looking out for himself and his wealthy corporate cronies.
- The governor [is] poised to allow horrendous legislation to become law that would further dismantle public education.
- Yet all of this additional spending is not worth the damage that would be caused by the education legislation that Corcoran covets and Scott evidently agreed to spare.
- Anyone who cares about the future of public education should not be so easily bought off.
- Florida…is more like a national joke. The budget deal that Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday is lousy in terms of substance and how the deal came about.
- The Palm Beach County [school] district expects to lose $230 million over 10 years, a figure that could rise if the giveaway draws even more charter operators. Broward County expects to lose $300 million over 10 years.
- So, how did Rick Scott rescue us from this secretly crafted budget? By negotiating a brand new, secretly crafted budget. Problem solved, apparently. This might be amusing if it wasn’t also deceitful.
- Day after day, week after week, Scott has been complaining about how House and Senate leaders made a mockery of the state’s Sunshine Laws…it feels as if there was a deeper level of cynicism involved in this negotiation. A complete disregard of public will.
- We have already urged Scott to reject a massive $419 million, 278-page education bill. Dozens of significant changes affecting public schools were cynically combined with sweetheart provisions for privately run charter schools in a take-it-or-leave-it package assembled behind closed doors
- On Friday, Scott slashed funding Polk State receives to operate programs at its Lake Wales campus. That includes classes and faculty at the J.D. Alexander Center as well as the programs at the Lake Wales Arts Center…
- Gov. Scott’s higher education vetoes affected at least nine of the state’s 12 universities and nine state colleges, including PSC. The pain was thus broad-based.
- The hard-heartedness this shows to 1,600 folks in Lake Wales trying to improve their lives is unfathomable.
- The budget…hacked millions from state colleges in favor of Florida’s university system.
- The Legislature whittled millions from programs for students clinging to the bottom rungs of the educational ladder — those who want a better life and are willing to work hard for it, but need remediation and extra help to be successful at the college level.
- So much for the righteous fight for transparency of Gov. Rick Scott. As the Legislature reconvenes in special session this week, they are doing so to formalize deal-making that’s already been done in secret
- Apparently, as soon as they promised Scott that he could have what he really wanted — more cash for Visit Florida and the Department of Economic Opportunity — he scrapped all that transparency talk and promptly shook hands. So much for principle.
- The governor needs to see House Bill 7069, for the disaster that it is — and, more important, the disaster it will mean for public-school students statewide…However, it’s a cynical budget that pits public schools against charter schools — an increasingly deep-pocketed industry, one to which legislative leaders pander.
- The deal failed to address a lack of funding for land conservation, despite nearly 75 percent of voters in 2014 approving a state constitutional amendment requiring spending on such programs. The budget included zero funding for the Florida Forever and Florida Communities Trust programs to purchase environmentally sensitive lands and parks.
- Scott put his priorities ahead of the demands of voters.