With Florida’s economy on the rebound and for the first time in about five years the state will be operating with a budget surplus, Florida’s Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto says they are still taking a cautious approach to crafting this year’s budget, “We are very focused on being fiscally responsible and in that we are projecting that we want our reserves to be $2.9 billion. We want to be in a very strong position to react in case of emergency.”
Benacquisto says the Senate supports the Governor’s efforts in making education funding a priority, “We put $480 million toward raises for instructional personnel, based on performance. Our budget includes individual debit cards for teachers so they can buy supplies for their classrooms,” she tells Faraj-Johnson. Benacquisto also responds to speculation about being a likely pick to be Florida’s next Lieutenant Governor.