As the Florida legislative session comes to a close, FDP Chairman Rod Smith issued the following letter to Gov. Rick Scott highlighting the GOP’s assault on the middle class in the budget, and urging him to ready his veto pen. Text of letter below and PDF available here.
March 9, 2012
Rick Scott, Governor of the State of Florida
400 South Monroe Street,
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Dear Governor Rick Scott:
This budget is an assault on the middle class and fails Florida’s families in every way by moving our state in the wrong direction.
Let’s look at the facts.
You declared that education would be a top priority this session but the GOP Legislature made draconian cuts to Florida’s universities, increased the cost of higher education, slashed scholarship funding, jeopardized the national standing of our great research universities, failed to restore the $1.3 billion that your party cut from last year’s K-12 budget, and appropriated zero dollars to public school construction. These shortsighted priorities make education increasingly unaffordable for working families and leaves schools crumbling around our children. That is no way to lead.
And leading doesn’t mean passing the buck on the tough issues.
For a second year, the Republican-led Legislature has failed to prioritize funding for children and the disabled who rely on Medicaid for care. This budget slashes millions in funding for hospitals –putting further pressure on cash-strapped counties and local governments and impacting rates for all Floridians. Instead of tackling the problem Republicans have again chosen to kick the can down the road.
Even worse, while Floridians are recovering in these tough economic times, this Republican budget adopts an extreme Tea Party agenda, giving breaks to corporations ahead of protecting and strengthening the middle class. The GOP wasted critical hours this session focused on the wrong priorities. From wasting time trying to ram through legislation to restrict women’s health care, to attempting to privatize Florida prisons for the benefit of a large political contributor – these are just a glimpse into the myriad of ways the GOP avoided the job Floridians sent them to do: invest in Florida’s future and strengthen our economy.
This budget amounts to nothing more than a continued assault on the middle class. It’s the wrong direction for our state and you should ready your veto pen.
Rod Smith, Chairman, Florida Democratic Party