Governor Rick Scott has unveiled his proposed budget for the next fiscal year. It calls for $66.4 billion in spending. That is four and a half billion less than the current budget. One area Scott doesn’t plan to cut is education. He is proposing a one-billion-dollar increase that focuses on grades K-12.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/GOVBUDGET1.mp3]
It’s an about face for Scott, who proposed a ten percent cut in education last year. Lawmakers ultimately gave him an eight percent cut. The hike he wants now would increase spending by just over 100 dollars per student. In order for that to happen, Scott says Medicaid reimbursement rates must be changed.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/GOVBUDGET2.mp3]
Scott wants a flat rate of Medicaid reimbursement for hospital groups. Without changes, he says the program will bankrupt the state.