Rick Scott's budget flip flops
Quite a day: Rick Scott rolled out 2 budgets in one and flip-flopped 4 times when it came to school spending, property taxes and cutting pension benefits.
First, school spending. On Thursday, he said he would essentially hold schools harmless and keep "school budgets the same." False. On Monday, his budget showed overall state spending on all education would be $4.8 billion less, and that per-student K-12 spending would be $703 lower (a 10 percent reduction).
"It's not going back on anything I promised," Scott insisted Monday. "What I said throughout the campaign and what I'm saying today is we're not cutting any money that came out of the state general revenue -- we're not cutting that. Any money that relied on federal bail-outs, that was different."
None of the reporters who covered his campaign could remember this "general-revenue" distinction he insisted on drawing Monday. The only time "general revenue" was mentioned in relation to his tax-cut plan and his tax-cut plan was in a July Palm Beach Post article that said "Scott says a larger share of sales taxes and other general revenue would be shifted to schools to avoid a reduction in education spending."
Regardless, Scott's claim that general-revenue would be the same is also false. His budget spends $160 million less in GR on education next year.
Flip-flop three: His property-tax cuts that pay for schools. Scott said he'd trim 1 mil, or about $1.4 billion his first year and another mil over the next seven years. His office, though, put out a power point showing the cut would be less the first year, $572 million.
Flip-flop four: Cuts to law enforcement pensions. Rick Scott said on the campaign trail that he would "absolutely not" cut law enforcement pensions, and suggested he only called for all state workers to contribute 5 percent of their salaries annually their pensions. But Scott's budget and statements last week make it clear that he's going to cut cost-of-living adjustments and so-called "accrual rates" for law-enforcement officers.