Florida GOP slaps Pafford for budget voteby John Kennedy | May 6th, 2013
With Gov. Rick Scott stopping at a Palm Beach County school Monday to tout teacher pay raises, the Florida Republican Party launched an internet strike on Democratic Rep. Mark Pafford of West Palm Beach, one of 11 lawmakers voting against the state’s proposed $74.5 billion budget.
‘Why Did Pafford vote against Governor’s budget that’s a win for public schools,’ was one of the headlines in a Florida GOP release that interlaced newspaper stories on the teacher pay raise with stinging words for Pafford.
Pafford was accused of being part of a ‘(Dis) appreciation week for teachers.’
“They apparently didn’t listen to my debate,” Pafford said Monday of the GOP criticism.
Pafford said he voted ‘no’ on the budget because it failed to adequately serve poor Floridians, the elderly and disabled. Mostly, he centered his opposition on the Legislature’s failure to expand health insurance to low-income residents, a battle that consumed much of the session and ended in a stalemate between the House and Senate.
“The budget is not plugged into the reality that exists outside this chamber,” Pafford said Friday on the House floor.
The GOP blast on Pafford came shortly after Scott toured Wynnebrook Elementary School in West Palm Beach, among a handful of school stops the governor plans to make this week. The budget includes $480 million that could give teachers a $2,500 pay raises by next June.