Florida House Budget and Policy Council Chair Ray Sansom released his statement today in response to the Gov. Charlie Crist's proposed 2008-09 state budget and makes it very clear he's not a fan of much of it. He doesn't want to rely on school tax increases, using non-recurring money or tapping trust fund accounts to close the budget gap, as the governor proposes. Here's his statement, emphasis added:
“Less than two years ago, the people of Florida voted and told their state leaders to practice fiscal responsibility and not balance the state’s budget using one-time and non-recurring dollars. Keeping in mind our constitutional requirements as we consider the Governor’s budget recommendations, we will consider their impact on our state’s fiscal health, not just this coming fiscal year, but also in the future.
“This is going to be a very challenging budget year. With current estimates showing a $2 billion shortfall in upcoming years, the House believes that thoughtful spending reductions would best serve Florida long-term, not tax increases, accounting transfers, or a new reliance on one-time or stagnant revenue sources.
“We have also committed to not borrow or bond ourselves out of this situation because we refuse to take the easy way out and pass these tough decisions onto future state leaders. And while optimistic about our state’s future, we believe that we should continue the practice of maintaining the state’s reserves, because it is fiscally prudent to be prepared in case of hurricanes or other emergencies.
“As we work to strengthen our state’s future and diversify our economy, the House is committed to making sure that we balance our budget responsibly. We look forward to partnering with our colleagues in the Senate and with the Governor to recharge our economy and help make Florida affordable once again. “