Gov. Scott signs 2013-2014 Florida Families First budget - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Gov. Scott signs 2013-2014 Florida Families First budget, veto's tuition hike

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TALLAHASSEE, FL -

Today, Governor Rick Scott signed the 2013-2014 Florida Families First Budget. Below is Governor Scott's letter to Secretary Detzner, followed by links to budget highlights.

To view the full veto letter, click HERE.

Additionally, Governor Scott today signed 16 bills to implement the budget. For a list of the bills signed today, click HERE.

Dear Secretary Detzner:

By the authority vested in me as Governor of Florida, under the provisions of Article III, Section 8, of the Constitution of Florida, I do hereby withhold my approval of portions of Senate Bill 1500, enacted during the 45th Session of the Legislature convened under the Constitution of 1968, and entitled:

An act making appropriations; providing monies for the annual period beginning July 1, 2013, and ending June 30, 2014, to pay salaries, and other expenses, capital outlay - buildings, and other improvements, and for other specified purposes of the various agencies of State government; providing an effective date.

We first recommended the Florida Families First budget for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 to make strategic investments in support of continued economic growth and job creation. This final budget, as passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law today, does in fact put Florida Families First by investing in economic development initiatives and making a record investment in our K-12 schools, including the $480 million we requested to give Florida teachers a well-deserved pay raise.

We made strategic investments in this budget, while holding the line on spending that does not give Florida taxpayers a positive return on investment. In order to ensure all taxpayer funds are well spent, I have vetoed special legislative projects totaling $368 million. Therefore, the Florida Families First budget now totals $74.1 billion.

The Florida Families First budget includes $1.2 billion in taxpayer savings. This budget also reflects the smallest state government workforce per 1,000 residents in Florida in this century. The Florida Families First budget is one of our state's smallest budgets this century, when adjusted for population growth and inflation.

We are also holding the line on tuition by vetoing the Legislature's recommended 3 percent tuition increase on our college and university students. Higher education is one of the best ways we can prepare Floridians to get a great job. It is also one of the best ways we can provide every family the opportunity to pursue their dreams, regardless of where they start in life. I believe that I would not have had the opportunity to start a business, or even serve this great state, if I had not had the benefit of a higher education experience. Therefore, I believe it is incumbent upon state leaders to ensure the cost of higher education remains accessible to as many Floridians as possible. Florida should be proud that we have one of the most affordable high-quality college and university systems in the country – now also offering $10,000 baccalaureate degree programs. Just as we are proud to be one of only a few states without a state income tax, and one of only a few states that have cut taxes and paid down state debt, even in tough budget years, we should also be proud to keep tuition low in Florida.

The Florida Families First budget is about helping the majority of Florida families, most of which are making $50,000 or less a year, struggling to make ends meet, and working hard to achieve their version of the American dream. We know that investing in economic development and our K-12 education system is working to create more jobs and opportunity in our state. Our unemployment rate has now dropped to 7.2 percent – well below the national average, and we are already almost half way to our 2010 goal of creating 700,000 new jobs in seven years.

Florida Families First Budget Includes Historic K-12 Education Funding: click HERE

Florida Families First Budget Invests in Business Development and Job Growth: click HERE

Florida Families First Budget Invests in Keeping Florida Families and Visitors Safe: click HERE

Florida Families First Budget Supports Florida Seniors: click HERE

Florida Families First Budget Makes Strategic Transportation Investments: click HERE

Florida Families First Budget Invests in Priorities for Disability Community and Vulnerable Populations: click HERE

Florida Families First Budget Invests to Protect Florida's Natural Resources: click HERE

For Governor Scott's 2013 Veto List: click HERE

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