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Scott's 2013 Budget Plans: Pay Raises, Budget Cuts, Tax Cuts, Layoffs

Gov. Rick Scott  says he wants to see more tax cuts for business, and more funding for education.

Scott’s proposed budget will include lowering the corporate tax rate to exempt another 2,000 businesses. He’s also calling for getting rid of sales taxes on manufacturing equipment.

“They usually consider many different locations for making a manufacturing equipment decision and Florida is just one of their options. We want this kind of manufacturing investment in Florida," Scott told reporters Wednesday in a preview at the Capitol.

The Governor wants to put $1.2 billion  into education. That figure includes $480 million for a $2,500 pay raise for full time teachers. According to the Florida Police Benevolent Association, Scott's budget also includes a $1,200 bonus for state employees, and an additional merit increase for up to 35 percent of the employees in each agency.

"We appreciate the governor's acknowledgement that the officers deserve a reward for their outstanding accomplishments,” said Matt Puckett, Florida PBA Executive Director.

“But we believe base salary increases are long overdue.  Some officers have gone six years without a wage increase due to state budget constraints -- not poor performance.  Therefore, although we appreciate the gesture, we are going to pursue salary increases through the Legislative budgeting process. We are hopeful that the governor will have a change of opinion and support our efforts." 

The governor's budget will likely include some spending reductions, including the elimination of some state jobs, as well as money to cover tax cuts the governor wants adopted.

Scott, however, is not expected to announce whether or not he will accept federal aid to expand Medicaid.

Legislative leaders have expressed skepticism with Scott's plans. They say they don’t have an extra $1.2 billion lying around. Democrats are calling the governor’s focus on education a gimmick aimed to boost is 2014 re-election chances. 

For more news updates, follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter @HatterLynn

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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