Record State Budget: Winners and Losers
The $74.2 billion state budget recommended by Gov. Rick Scott includes funding for the mandatory parts of the Affordable Care Act and bonuses for state employees, but not the optional Medicaid expansion, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Scott includes $116.1 million for Floridians who are currently eligible for Medicaid but aren’t signed up yet, according to the Orlando Sentinel. This so-called “woodwork effect” is an expected side-effect of the ACA.
The budget also includes money to provide health insurance to about 7,000 temporary state employees
Meantime, even though Florida rates second-to-last in the country for mental health funding, Scott leaves that budget line at $1.3 billion, the Sentinel reports.
In a reversal from his previously lean budgets, Scott now wants to increase spending on education: $1.2 billion more for public schools, most of which pay for pensions and pay raises for teachers, the Sentinel reports. While state universities saw a $300 million cut last year, this year Scott is recommending $393.3 million in funding.
The budget proposal also shows Scott has given up on privatizing state prisons, according to the Sentinel. However, the prison system will account for most of the 3,647 job cuts the governor wants, the Post reports.
And for state workers, who haven’t seen any pay raises in six years, Scott wants about $315 million for bonuses, according to the Sentinel.