"Protect Florida's children"
State Reps. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall (D-Miami), left, Martin Kiar (D-Weston) and Bill Heller (D-St. Petersburg) will file an amendment to the current Republican-led proposal for education cuts, which amount to a $138-million reduction from the current year budget.
Republicans achieve that number by plugging about $125-million in one-time money into schools' budget hole, and by deferring the MAP teacher bonus allotments (worth $147.5-million) until next year.
"We have but one duty today; to protect Florida's children," said Democratic Leader Dan Gelber (D-Miami Beach). "We must stop balancing special interest tax breaks on the backs of our school children. Public education should not be public enemy number one. Florida's families are hurting and are making tough decisions. This legislature is no different."
"Our universities are the economic engine of this great state," said Rep. Bill Heller (D-St. Petersburg). "Slashing nearly $100 million from community college and university budgets is the wrong direction and our state will pay in the long-run. However, the legislature has an alternative by choosing to invest one-time state reserves to avoid harsh cuts."
- Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler, higher ed reporter