Dems Oppose GOP Budget Assault on Middle Class
House Democratic Caucus members voted on Friday to oppose a Republican-crafted state budget that fails Florida’s families and small businesses and doesn’t prioritize job creation.
House Democrats warned that the budget amounts to an assault on Florida’s middle class with new fee hikes, deep cuts to health care and higher education, and more hardships for seniors in getting the care they need.
Democrats also cautioned that the budget will reduce services that Floridians depend upon and will eliminate jobs needed to bolster Florida’s economic rebound.
Among the budget’s lowlights are, it:
- Slashes university budget reserves by $300 million
- Cuts Bright Futures Scholarships by $350 million
- Reduces hospital payments by hundreds of millions of dollars
- Cuts Clerks of Court funding, with potential loss of jobs
- Continues millions of dollars in unneeded tax relief to major corporations
- Rejects $439 million in federal health care funding under the Affordable Care Act
The Democratic Ranking Member on Appropriations, Rep. Charles Chestnut (D-Gainesville), issued the following statement regarding his ‘no’ vote on the 2012-13 budget.
“The budget I rejected today is a far cry from the promises heard earlier this session about how the Legislature would focus on job creation. The budget sets up a devastating triangle against students in working families through a combination of tuition hikes, cuts in university funding and reductions in student financial aid. The Legislature should have written a better budget.”