Florida Governor’s Budget Proposal
In late January, Governor Scott released his “Keep Florida Working” budget proposal for 2015-16. The governor’s budgetary priorities include eliminating the sales tax on college textbooks and manufacturing equipment, reducing the state’s telecommunications and business taxes, and raising per-student K-12 funding to the highest level in state history.
General funds would increase for universities to $2.3 billion (up 3.5 percent), for state colleges to $913.3 million (up 2.4 percent) and for K-12 education to $10.9 billion (up 5.2 percent). The proposal includes funding for STEM bachelor’s programs at state colleges that cost students $10,000 or less, financial aid under the Florida Incentive Scholarship Program, the Florida Teacher of the Year Program and the Personal Learning Scholarship Account Program. Combined lottery and general funds will also double (to $80 million) for the Florida Digital Classroom Initiative.