Florida Legislature battles over whose back to balance the budget on

Today’s ProgressFlorida Daily Clips email included these two summaries of articles in local papers:

New divide in Florida budget debate: the federal health care law

By Marc Caputo, St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau
A new wedge developed Wednesday between legislative Republicans as they hammered out a budget deal: President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Lawmakers may let Scott hand out cash to companies offering jobs
By Aaron Deslatte, Orlando Sentinel
To help Gov. Rick Scott sell the state to corporations, budget writers assembling the governor’s new jobs super-agency are preparing to give him broad authority to offer tax dollars to companies willing to create jobs.

Let’s see.  Should we allocate $338 million to boost the Medicaid reimbursement rate to doctors, or should we give the governor $300 million to incent businesses to come to Florida?

This is just one of many, many examples of how the differing values of the Republicans and Democrats in Tallahassee are affecting the budget debate. 

The good news is, even the Republicans don’t fully support the governor’s request for corporate tax cuts.  According to the Sentinel article:

“This is my eleventh session now, and very few people in my career have come to me and said the reason we did not come to the state of Florida was because of the corporate tax rate,” [Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island] said.

The Legislature isn’t giving Scott close to the $300 million he wanted in cash to give out to companies, and it’s unclear how much funding they have stashed away for tax cuts. The Senate’s first offer Wednesday includes only about $50 million for economic-development programs. The final total for such tax-incentive programs could be about $130 million.

But the bad news is, Florida’s Republican legislators are solidly behind the repeal of what they (including our own Rep. Matt Hudson) call “ObamaCare.”

It all boils down to whose back to balance the budget on: the poor and medically-needy, or big business.

Scroll to Top