Gov. Rick Scott has received positive headlines for the better part of two weeks as he unveils bits and pieces of his proposed 2014-2015 budget. He is focusing on the good news: roughly a dozen tax breaks and spending increases.
He wants to cut vehicle tag fees and increase workforce training. He hopes to give families a tax break on back-to-school shopping, businesses a break on rent taxes and worried homeowners a break when preparing for hurricane season. Scott's proposal will also include money to restore the Everglades and Florida's springs.
But there is a catch.
The Times/Herald compiled all of Scott's new spending in the chart (click on the pic for a larger image), using press releases from his office and media reports. We included only the new spending that would require additional budget dollars, except for education because that wasn't specified.
In total, Scott has proposed about $1.4 billion in new spending. You may recall that state analysts have predicted an $850 million budget surplus.
That means if the governor wants to boost spending in the way he has proposed, he will have to cut around $500 million in other areas of the state budget.
Scott has already announced that he wants agencies to reduce their budgets by $100 million. Our analysis shows that the number will be significantly higher, unless the governor is looking outside state coffers to fund his new initiatives.