TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday unveiled a $74.2 billion proposed budget. Here's a few key items you should know about:
PAY RAISES AND BONUSES: Scott wants to give a $2,500 across-the-board pay hike for the state's teachers as part of a $1.2 billion increase in school spending. He is also proposing a $1,200 bonus to state workers.
TUITION: The governor wants to keep college and university tuition at its current levels. Scott also wants legislators to pass a bill that would freeze tuition for the next four years for incoming university freshmen.
MEDICAID EXPANSION: Gov. Scott has been a critic of the federal health care overhaul. But his budget does not address whether the state should expand Medicaid to cover roughly 900,000 Floridians. The expansion was part of the Affordable Care Act but the U.S. Supreme Court last year made it optional for states.
OBAMACARE: Scott's proposed budget, however, does include money to pay for mandatory portions of the Affordable Care Act, including spending more to pay primary care doctors who treat Medicaid patients. The governor also recommended offering insurance to part-time state workers to avoid federal penalties.
SCHOOL SAFETY: Scott wants to give public schools a 16 percent increase for school safety programs. But the total is far less than what school districts estimated it would cost to add an officer to every elementary school.
MENTAL HEALTH: Scott maintains mental health program funding at its current levels even though there have been calls to increase the amount.
HEALTH INSURANCE: Scott recommends that he and other top state officials and legislators pay the same for health insurance as rank-and-file state workers. Scott currently pays less than $400 a year for family coverage.
BUDGET CUTS: Scott is recommending cuts in several areas, including cutting payments to hospitals and eliminating more than 3,600 state jobs. Roughly 1,200 of these positions are currently vacant. The governor also proposes shuttering several driver's license offices.
TAXES: Scott does not recommend any tax hikes to pay for his budget. But he is recommending that lawmakers eliminate sales taxes on equipment bought for manufacturing. The governor also wants to exempt another 2,000 businesses from paying the state's corporate income tax.
BUDGET TOTAL: The governor's proposed budget is $74.2 billion, or an increase of roughly six percent from last year.