Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott's budget would cut funding for the homeless and support minority businesses



Last year, agencies that help Florida's homeless received nearly $7 million in state funding to assist more than 74,000 people. But that money was wiped out in Gov. Rick Scott's proposed budget, which called for elimination of the state's Office of Homelessness as well as an end to a memorial day for homeless people recognized nationwide.

His dramatic slashes to the budget target some of the state's most vulnerable groups.

In addition to cutting the homelessness office, Scott's budget calls for moving trust funds that pay for indigent criminal defense and domestic violence and rape crisis programs into general revenue coffers. He also wants to end programs that encourage state contracting with minority businesses and suicide prevention efforts in public schools.

And he proposes killing the state's Coastal Clean-up Trust Fund, ending taxes on waste tire disposal, dry cleaning, batteries, fertilizer and other pollutants.

"It is probably the most callous, destructive, hurtful, archaic budget that you could put forward in a state like this," said Rep. Mark Pafford, a Democrat from West Palm Beach who is co-sponsoring a bill that would provide tax breaks to businesses that give homeless people jobs. (That bill is sponsored by Rep. Lori Berman, a Democrat from Delray Beach.) Read more about it here.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 10, 2011 10:08pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours