TALLAHASSEE – FloridaStrong Executive Director Charly Norton issued the following statement on the legislature’s passage of the FY 2017-18 state budget:
“The budget passed through the legislature should not be mistaken for ‘bold’ or ‘transformative.’ It is, in reality, a plan to gut Florida schools, infrastructure, conservation, and other key state investments that promote long-term prosperity. Lawmakers failed to take stock of the current needs and challenges facing Florida, including our rapidly growing population, staggering lack of affordable housing, unacceptable teacher shortages and unhealthy communities across the state.
“Throughout this session, legislators refused to listen to their constituents’ priorities, on issue after issue — a guaranteed sore spot when they return home to their districts this week. The offensive disregard for the needs of their own neighborhoods reveals, yet again, that the responsibility each of us share to invest in our communities is just lost on Tallahassee politicians.”
- Reduces bridge construction funding by 60 percent (because this seems like a good idea when infrastructure is crumbling);
- Includes $30.2 million in permanent cuts to schools;
- Hundreds in millions of dollars in cuts from hospitals;
- Cuts Water Policy and Ecosystem Restoration and State Lands Program by almost 30 percent and 44 percent, respectively;
- Decreases health and human services by almost $149 million.