With the start of the legislative session a couple of months away, Gov. Rick Scott says he will ask state lawmakers to spend more money on human services to pay for more child abuse investigators and improve adoption services.
It’s part of the preview of the budget plan that Scott will send to the Legislature for its consideration. He’s been rolling out parts of his spending proposal in recent weeks. The latest preview came during the annual Associated Press meeting held Thursday at the state Capitol.
Scott says he’ll ask lawmakers for $10 million dollars to allow the Department of Children and Families to hire child abuse investigators and $198 million in subsidies for adoption services.
He also proposed a $350 per teacher stipend to help educators to buy supplies for their classroom, which would cost the state $63 million.
The governor also used the event to once again highlight his $1.7 billion environmental budget that includes more funding for state parks and beach restoration, as well as $355 for the Everglades.
Scott doesn’t appear to be phased by economic forecasts that suggest the state might want to reign-in its spending next year. The state’s chief economist has told legislators they could face a budget deficit if they aren’t careful about state spending.
The governor told reporters Thursday the state will have the needed funds to pay for his budget proposals.
“We have the revenue. Our general revenue continues to grow,” Scott insisted.
During Thursday morning’s appearance, Scott announced he will not seek the chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association when the group meets next month in Austin, Texas. Scott, who currently serves as the vice-chairman of the RGA, says he plans to spend all of his time focusing on governing Florida in his final year in office.
In addition to running the state, Scott could find himself busy next year running a campaign for the U.S. Senate. He is expected to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in 2018.