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Scott Stammers & Fumbles: Can't Defend Cuts to Substance Abuse Prevention & Low School Funding

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Tonight Rick Scott stammered and mumbled when confronted about his self-serving politics – unable to defend why he did not adequately fund education and how he's cutting substance abuse prevention programs.

Transcript of Rick Scott's rambling, incoherent non-answer to a question about his record (we apologize in advance for this being hard on people's eyes and ears):

Noah Pransky: You suggested that local school districts should dip into reserves to pay for school funding that wasn't appropriated by the legislature. How come you weren't using your executive power to dip into the reserves for the state on the DOC cuts that are impending?

Scott: Going to back school… I mean, they have… 2 billion, the school districts are sitting on 2 billion dollars worth of cash. Um, on top of the money we gave them. And then, on top of that, the um, there's 67 million dollars that was in the for the training dollars. And I'm working with.. I'm going to work with the legislature to try to do, move that also to fund um, for school safety in our schools.

Pransky: And DOC?

Scott: DOC.. in the last three years, I've asked for, I think $378 million that the legislature hasn't funded, which I'm disappointed they haven't funded. And, so, we're going to continue to work with the Dept. of Corrections to get them the resources they need, but you're right, it's disappointing.

Pransky: I'm sorry, the question though was, how come you're not using your executive power to save these programs this week?

Scott: Well, I'm, I mean, I'm working through the budget that we work with the legislature, and as you know, I... I propose a budget and I took the time to propose what I thought was necessary. The legislature actually gets, is actually the one that gets to pass the budget."

 

Rick Scott's Record

Tampa Bay Times: Drug and alcohol advocates to Rick Scott: 'We have yet to hear' from you

  • "Two weeks after asking Gov. Rick Scott to step in and resolve a serious budget crisis in Florida's prison system, a leading advocacy group says it hasn't heard a word from the governor's office.
  • The Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (FADAA) sent a second letter to Scott Monday, urging him to take action to forestall reductions and eliminations of dozens of local substance abuse and re-entry programs to help close a $28 million operating deficit in the prison system.
  • "We have yet to hear from your office, and with a May 25, 2018 deadline quickly approaching, we are all running out of time to prevent cuts to vital programs," wrote the group's executive director, Mark Fontaine. "Now is not the time to take a step back."
  • "Without treatment, inmates and probationers are at higher risk to commit crimes and use drugs, undoing the progress Florida has made over the last 15 years in reducing recidivism rates and lowering the prison population," Fontaine added. "While these cuts may look like a quick fix to a budget shortfall, in reality they will only exacerbate the problem."

St. Augustine Record Editorial: Gov. Scott's per-pupil spending increases wouldn't cover a pack of gum

  • "Thus, Florida ranks 49th among the states in per-capita spending for K-12 and 35th in teacher pay; over $9,000 below the national average."
  • "There remains an unthinkable, yet unmistakable, mindset in Tallahassee that choking classroom funding and strangling teacher pay will eventually lead to private school education in our state."
  • "Floridians have met the enemy – and elected them."

Palm Beach Post Editorial: Amid scramble to secure schools, money short for teachers

  • "Take away all the earmarks, and the increase in per-pupil spending for general purposes is a paltry 47 cents."
  • "West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma are much worse off economically than Florida. It makes little sense to see teachers treated so disrespectfully in a state as wealthy as ours. Yet here we are."
  • "It should alarm all of us that the governor and Legislature have rigged school spending in a way that virtually guarantees that teacher salaries, and the quality of education for today's schoolchildren — tomorrow's leaders — won't be improving any time soon."