Florida Gov. Rick Scott today is expected to sign into law the largest budget in state history, a $77 billion spending plan crafted to enhance his re-election prospects, as well as the Republican legislators who crafted it.
For the first time in six years, Scott and legislators had more money to spend because of the steady improvement in Florida’s economy.
Lawmakers spent more money on child welfare and to reduce water pollution, but they also packed the budget with hundreds of line-item spending projects for museums, parks, water systems, even a gun range for police training.
The budget includes $18.9 billion for public schools, or $6,949 per pupil, an increase of $176 per pupil. That’s the most money ever, but still falls $177 per-student below the record of $7,126 per student in 2007-2008, the first year Charlie Crist was governor.
Crist had called on Scott to veto hundreds of millions of dollars in pet projects for lawmakers’ districts and plow all of it into the public schools.
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