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Capital Report: 02-07-2012

As lawmakers near the halfway mark in their 60-day legislative session a Senate budget proposal is slowly taking shape.  Committee chairs want to cut about $850 million from health care programs while boosting spending on public schools by more than a billion dollars. James Call reports, the Senate President said that for the most part things are on track even though some Senators are openly questioning some of the priorities outlined in the proposed spending plan.


It’s the Senate’s turn to begin work on its budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. Lawmakers in that chamber Tuesday began crafting the education section of the bill, which includes funding for K-12 and higher education. Lynn Hatter reports a preliminary view of the Senate’s plan includes a little more money for K-12 and a little less for colleges and universities.


Lawmakers killed a proposal to amend the state constitution to cut property taxes. Regan McCarthy reports legislators say property tax reform is warranted, but worry about the impact the proposal could have on local governments.


A Senate Budget committee that oversees the spending for the courts and prisons rolled out an initial budget of making 140-million dollars in cuts. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, it was not the cuts that were a matter of concern to the panel. It was actually the added funding to the Department of Juvenile Justice.


Florida Governor Rick Scott has his government efficiency axe poised above Florida’s special taxing districts. These often tiny districts combine to collect more than 15 billion tax dollars each year, and as Jessica Palombo  from member station WJCT in Jacksonville reports, Scott wants a clear picture of where that money goes.