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Bronson says no to 10 percent budget cuts

Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson has told Gov. Charlie Crist and the GOP-controlled Legislature that he cannot recommend up to 10 percent in budget cuts as ordered by Crist and lawmakers earlier this summer. Each agency was required to turn in plans today that spelled out what budget cuts could be enacted by the Legislature, which will meet during a September special session to cut at least $1 billion from the state budget.

In a letter sent today to the governor, Bronson said that his agency has been repeatedly cut in recent years: "We have undergone budget cuts and re-structuring for the last 15 years...A 10% budget cut for us would mean a $26.1 million reduction. To get to that figure would mean making drastic cuts to food safety, fire-fighting capabilities, consumer protection and seriously hamper our ability to help sell our Florida products which ultimately affects jobs, the State's sales tax collections and our overall economy. Because of the numerous cuts that have been previously made, further reductions to these core areas would be detrimental to the services we provide to the citizens of the State."

Bronson only recommended a 3.5 percent cut that amounts to $7.9 million of his current year budget.

Read his letter here: Download bronson_letter.doc