Senate Prez: Crist education proposal too rosyby Dara Kam | January 27th, 2010
Gov. Charlie Crist’s proposed $500 million boost to education spending based on an unlikely gambling agreement is unrealistic, Senate President Jeff Atwater said this morning.
“The numbers that I would see at this moment that were included in that release did seem to be a bit optimistic,” Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, said at a meeting of reporters and editors.
Crist’s $22.7 billion public education budget, released Monday, relies on about $433 million from the Seminole Tribe of Florida now sitting in the bank as part of a deal with the state allowing certain types of gambling at the tribe’s casinos.
But the legislature has refused to sign off on a deal inked by Crist and the tribe and early indications show that an agreement this year remains in doubt.
“We worked hard on a gaming compact and we’re not done but to just plug in the numbers that I saw was rather optimistic,” Atwater, who is running for chief financial officer said.