The Florida Legislature actually put more money into education this year than called for in Gov. Rick Scott's Tea Party-happy budget, but now that the legislative sessions is over and the final budget in on Scott's desk he's suddenly realized that even that isn't enough money to educate our children. What's behind the sudden mega-flip-flop? Probably pressure from parents and the sinking quicksand that have become his poll numbers.
The legislature passed a $69.7 billion budget and sent it to Scott's desk. To be sure, that budget already had billions of dollars in cuts (including to education), but it wasn't enough for Scott. As governor he can veto certain spending provisions in the bill. A source tells Naked Politics that he is actually really wants the record of most vetoed spending in a year.
"He wants to be the veto king," a source told The Miami Herald.
Charlie Crist vetoed $459 million in 2007, the largest amount to date, but Scott apparently thinks that vetoing half-a-billion dollars in spending has a nice conservative ring to it.
However, he said on a radio interview on 92.5 Fox News in Fort Myers this morning that he wants to put that money back into education, according to The Buzz.
"I'm going to suggest all that money oughta be put back into education, where we need to make sure we are educating our kids and we have the best educated workforce in the country," Scott said.
Which is odd, because Scott's original budget called for $3.3 to $4.8 billion in cuts to education, an amount that equals about a a 10 percent increase in per-student-spending.
That's nice of Scott to say, but its unlikely to happen. He can veto spending, but he can't re-appropriate it. Lawmakers could also re-open a contentious budget process, but according to The Buzz that's highly unlikely.
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It's a lotta talk coming a little to late.
Scott, however, is widely expected to cut about $130 million in spending that would fund construction on public colleges.