Rick Scott signed his record-breaking budget today, packed with taxpayer handouts to special interests. But perhaps what is even worse than what’s in his budget is what isn’t.
The Scott budget did nothing to increase Florida’s minimum wage and give a raise to hardworking Florida families trying to get by. Not surprising, considering even the thought of raising the minimum wage makes Rick Scott cringe. His budget did nothing to expand Medicaid, as over 750,000 Floridians, including 41,000 veterans, continue to be denied health care. And his budget did nothing to guarantee equal pay for women in the Sunshine State.
Budgets are an embodiment of priorities, and Rick Scott’s priorities are clear: Special interests first. Florida last. Check out the graphics below:
Two Bills Increasing The Minimum Wage To $10.10 An Hour Were Introduced In The 2014 Florida Legislative Session. According to the Tampa bay Times, “The proposals — Senate Bill 456 and House Bill 385 — would increase Florida’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for all workers. Congressional Democrats, with the backing of President Barack Obama, are pushing for the federal minimum wage to be increased to the same amount.” [Tampa Bay Times, 1/8/14]
- Neither Bill Was Voted On By The State Legislature. According to the Florida House Of Representatives, neither Senate Bill 456 nor House Bill 385 were voted on as of 4/29/14. [Florida House Of Representatives, 3/4/14; 3/4/14]
Bills To Expand Medicaid In Florida Using Federal Funds Were Ignored In Florida State Senate And House. According to the Miami Herald, “This year, Republican Sen. Rene Garcia, of Hialeah, has introduced a plan for Medicaid expansion in the upper chamber (SB 710). Freshman Rep. Amanda Murphy, D-New Port Richey, is carrying an identical bill in the House (HB 869). Neither has been scheduled for a hearing.” [Miami Herald, 3/24/14]
Florida Center For Investigative Reporting: Scott “Doing Even Less” To Support Medicaid Expansion Than In Previous Years. According to the Florida Center For Investigative Reporting, “Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott said during the announcement of his budget priorities for the year that he supported expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in Florida. After that, Scott did little to make the expansion happen and the Florida Legislature quickly turned down the federal money—leaving almost a million Floridians without health insurance. Now, Scott is doing even less and has stopped voicing his support for Medicaid expansion when asked about it.” [Florida Center For Investigative Reporting, 12/18/13]
Two Bills Mandating Equal Pay For Women Were Introduced In The Florida Legislature, Both Died In Committee. According to the Florida House Of Representatives, HB 163 and SB 206 were the Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act, which had “legislative findings and intent relating to equal pay for equal work for women.” Both bills died in committee. [Florida House Of Representatives, 5/2/14; 5/2/14]