Cannon finds some extra cash for schools, courtsby John Kennedy | March 24th, 2011
A day after House budget committees squawked about how paltry allocations from Speaker Dean Cannon were forcing deep program chopping, the Winter Park Republican reshuffled the books.
Cannon found another $75 million to scatter among schools, higher education and the justice budget panels –maybe easing back on some of the axe-wielding. Cannon said he and House budget chair Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, decided to distribute the legislative lagniappe after seeing how budget subcommittees had done the right thing and focused on statewide spending issues.
On Wednesday, Justice Appropriations Chair Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City, bemoaned the cutting his panel was doing.
Wholesale spending cuts would eliminate one-quarter of the state’s more than 2,800 judicial assistants, leaving judges to do much of their own research, scheduling and brief-writing, to save $13.6 million. Judicial salaries also would be scaled-back, letting the state pocket another $11.4 million.
Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, said the proposed cuts threatened the legal rights of Floridians.
“We are going to wind up with an umpire who can’t see the strike zone,” Grant said of the burden also being put on judges.