State Politics

Local reaction to House budget

“I’m disappointed in the budget. Surely, these are bleak times and unprecedented unemployment times, but I believe we could have been more resourceful in protecting our public employees, like firefighters and teachers. ... I’m extremely disappointed we decreased funding for education after we promised we’d do more for our students and our teachers.” — State Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, whose district juts into Manatee

“It was a very difficult thing to do, but we were able to maintain our budget, and to fulfill our constitutional requirement to balance the budget, and we did it without having to resort to raising taxes. It’s always difficult to make reductions because we’d like to be able to fund all the programs that are beneficial to the people of Florida, but in a global economic downturn like we’re in today, we have to make adjustments, just like people do in their household budgets. And there’s not enough money, and we must make difficult decisions to prioritize where the money goes. I think we did a very responsible and respectful job, and were good stewards for the taxpayers’ dollars.” — State Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota

“We balanced the budget with existing revenues, no new taxes. The House budget set priorities on spending and some were tough choices. The House budget sets aside reserves to help cover shortfalls that may occur. Spending for education resulted in less than a 1 percent reduction per pupil, and health care funding was increased by 8.72 percent.” — State House Speaker Pro Tempore Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton

— Compiled by Sara Kennedy