STATEMENT: Legislature Must Protect Dollars for Teachers and Environment, Fund Coronavirus Response by Cutting Member Projects
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro released the following statement following reports that the Florida Legislature is considering cutting allocations meant to increase teacher pay, boost environmental investments, and fund other critical issues in order to pay for the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic:
“This week, we’ve heard troubling reports from the Capitol that the Florida Legislature is considering redirecting appropriations for teacher salary increases, environmental protections, and other worthy endeavors to pay for the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. While we agree that lawmakers should set aside proper funding to protect Florida families against this very real public health threat, we cannot allow this response to cut funding to critical areas of need, or reduce proposed tax cuts which will provide critical relief to families facing economic downturns caused by this pandemic. Florida TaxWatch strongly urges our elected leaders in the legislature to choose statesmanship over parochialism and find funding by limiting dollars spent on member projects.
“Our analysis of the current House and Senate budgets show that there is already funding earmarked for hundreds of member projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Taking a pragmatic approach and limiting funding for member projects could easily free up the dollars needed to address this health crisis while maintaining the important work necessary to keep Florida headed in the right direction.”
About Florida TaxWatch
As an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog and taxpayer research institute for more than forty years and the trusted eyes and ears of Florida taxpayers, Florida TaxWatch works to improve the productivity and accountability of Florida government. Its research recommends productivity enhancements and explains the statewide impact of fiscal and economic policies and practices on citizens and businesses. Florida TaxWatch is supported by its membership via voluntary, tax-deductible donations and private grants, and does not accept government funding. Donations provide a solid, lasting foundation that has enabled Florida TaxWatch to bring about a more effective, responsive government that is more accountable to, and productive for, the citizens it serves since 1979. For more information, please visit www.floridataxwatch.org.