Today Governor Rick Scott signed into law a $70 billion state budget while vetoing $143 million in local projects. The budget contains a $1 billion in increase in education spending.
Scott signed what he calls an "education budget" at Cunningham Creek Elementary School in St. Johns County.
Critics say schools still aren't getting enough. They say that the $1 billion doesn't compensate the $1.3 billion in education that were cut from last year's budget.
"We kept basically state funding and education flat last year," Scott said. "What happened is the federal stimulus money came in, and then the federal stimulus money ran through our state budget and it went away."
Our news partner, The Palm Beach Post, reports that Florida's 11 public university face a $300 million reduction in state funding this year. Scott approved a budget item that allows a 5 percent tuition hike by Florida's 28 colleges, but he suggested they go no higher.
The $143 million in vetoes includes $250,000 for planning a new Flagler County Jail and $400,000 to fund a University of North Florida economic analysis of the St. Johns river. He also cut funding from Duval's Learn to Earn program and the St. John Workforce and Career Enhancement.
Florida Tax Watch commends Scott for eliminating 61% of the items on its turkey list and saving $63.1 million in taxpayer dollars. However, he did leave in $5.6 million in funding for restoration of the river which was included on the turkey list.
In 2011, his first year in office, he vetoed $615 million in spending.