In Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed $83.5 billion “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget announced Tuesday, money allocated to Manatee County is primarily siphoned off for education, child protective investigations and the diamond interchange at State Road 70 and Interstate 75.
Scott proposed a record $6.6 billion in funding for higher education institutions across the state.
State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota could be budgeted for more than $23 million, which includes about $5.7 million from the Education Enhancement Trust and about $17.6 million for operational funds from the General Revenue Fund.
For local universities, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and New College of Florida could be budgeted for more than $22 million each, on the lower end of the budgeting spectrum compared to the University of Florida or Florida State University.
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Manatee County is also budgeted to potentially receive $6.8 million for the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program and $9.3 million for school district workforce education programs.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, along with six others across the state, is proposed to receive a grant from the Department of Children and Families for child protective investigations. For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, which ends June 30, the sheriff’s office received a $4.9 million grant, according to spokesman Dave Bristow. Currently, they’re handling 429 child protective cases.
More than $115 million will be allocated to the Florida Department of Transportation to build the Interstate 75 diamond interchange at State Road 70, like the one at University Parkway poised to be completed this year.
If the proposed budget is passed by the Florida Legislature, it would become the biggest in state history.