Weatherford’s pitch for bipartisan backing of budget falls flatby John Kennedy | March 9th, 2012
A last-ditch appeal for bipartisan support from Speaker-designateWill Weatherford fell flat Friday night, as the House voted 80-37 in a partyline vote to approve the state’s $70 billion budget for 2012-13.
A Senate vote is expected later Friday.
Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, said that it has only been over the last six years that Democrats began voting against the state budgets, and he called for the minority party to put aside differences and join Republicans in approving the plan.
Rep. Scott Randolph of Orlando was among the Democrats who blistered the budget for cutting university spending, reducing hospital payments, and doing nothing to lift motorist tax- and fee-hikes approved three years ago.
“You are all taxing the middle class and you are taxing them out of existence,” Randolph said.
Following Randolph, Weatherford’ s appeal for bipartisanship fell flat.
“This is an opportunity for you to rise above party,” Weatherford said.