April 30th was Christmas in Tallahassee
On April 30th the Florida Legislature passed a record $101.5 billion budget, a $9 billion increase from last year’s budget. Seems hard to believe since at the beginning of the session the Legislature was looking at a $3 billion deficit projection for the next two years. Last year’s budget was $92 billion, so we can do the math. There was much handwringing going on because politicians on both sides of the aisle hate not handing out money.
So how did they not only reduce spending, they increased spending by $9 billion? With a huge bail-out from Congress, the federal government started sending boatloads of cash. With this infusion of federal cash, Florida Legislators popped the Champagne corks and started handing out money to anyone who was a big donor and represented by high-priced lobbyists. Fiscal conservatism is a bad word for both Republicans and Democrats in Tallahassee. Only one out of 160 Legislators had the courage to vote NO on the budget and that was Representative Anthony Sabatini, who is the only true fiscal conservative in the Florida Legislature.