Saying he wanted to “set an example for the nation that you can in fact shrink government,” new Gov. Rick Scott unveiled an unprecedented $5 billion in budget cuts, largely from state pensions and health care for the poor.
Scott proposed to save $2.8 billion over the next two years by making state workers contribute 5 percent of their salaries towards their pension, and $4 billion during the same time period by “creating a patient-directed” Medicaid system.
The announcement drew big applause from a capacity crowd of about 800 people at First Baptist Church of Eustis, where the atmosphere was reminiscent of a campaign rally with dozens of tea party groups on hand to cheer on the governor. Scott’s supporters have been looking to his budget to deliver on a litany of campaign promises, from creating jobs to cutting taxes and governmnent red tape. The much-anticipated budget represents one of the largest cuts to state spending in Florida history.
Scott labeled his austerity measures “Florida’s first jobs budget” and emphasized $2 billion in property tax and corporate income tax cuts.
“There will be a lot of special interests that complain about the cuts to their favorite programs,” Scott told the crowd. “But what we have to remember is that we’re doing this for the sake of our children and our grandchildren and to get our state back to work.”
Full Story: Gov. Scott unveils $5B budget cuts