Gov. Rick Scott recently said on a radio show that the state is going to suffer deeper cuts to its budget this year.
Scott had previously anticipated a $1 billion-plus surplus.
“We are going to have to go through — tighten our belts, again — and look at how we spend our money,” he said.
Scott also said to “let him know” if anyone has any ideas on “how to reduce spending in the state.” He said “no one comes to his office and says, ‘Gosh, Governor, why don’t you cut spending here?’”
“No, they come and say, ‘You know, I know we are spending a lot of money in this area, but let’s spend some more money in this area for a brand new program,’” he said to the radio host.
Last year, the state of Florida cut millions from public programs that provided services to low-income families. Health services for women and children took a big hit this past year, in particular.
Healthy Start, an organization that provides high-quality prenatal care services for at-risk mothers and health care services for children in Florida, lost millions in funding. The state’s health departments also suffered big cuts this year. Funds were also cut from a community health center that provided health services to at-risk seasonal farmworkers in Apopka.
A policy research group reported that the state actually made unnecessarily austere and harmful budget cuts this past year. Economists have also said that severe cuts to state budgets, like in Florida, are “a big part of why the economy is back at risk.” Because of the decreased spending in states, economists warn there is an increased risk of another recession.
According to a recent poll, a majority of Florida voters feel that Scott’s budget was “unfair to people like them” and “do not approve of his handling of the state budget.”