On Monday, in a sort of unofficial re-election kick-off, Gov. Rick Scott unveiled his budget plans for the year, only to be drowned out by the news that medical marijuana would be allowed on the ballot in November.
Scott proposed a $74.19 billion budget proposal, which includes things like tax-breaks for businesses, nearly $600 million in tax cuts, and bonuses for state workers (but, no raises).
Scott wants the state to up their spending on public schools by $542 million this year.
The proposal, which Scott has titled the "It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget,'' and is described as "another historic tax cut budget for Florida Families" claims to reduce the state debt by $170 million, in addition to the $3.6 billion debt reduction.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Scott didn't provide any details on how things will work, so there's that.
There was also this Tweet from Herald political reporter Marc Caputo on Wednesday:
Rick Scott on $70.3b 2011 FL budget: It's "bloated."
Rick Scott today: Proposes budget that's $4b bigger and therefore more "bloated"— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) January 29, 2014
For the most part, legislatures have pretty much ignored Scott's budget proposals over the years. They have until March to work it all out, when the final budget that will be passed during the annual session kicks off.
Still, the big announcement was a clear call that Scott is ready to start throwing down with Charlie Crist, the man most believe will be his chief challenger for the governor's office come November.
Scott used his budget to draw a sharp contrast to former Gov. Charlie Crist, who is now running against him as a Democrat. Scott's budget reduces 1,200 jobs but his initial budget release did not provide immediate details and still unknown is whether he plans to use any of the new money to restore program cuts made in previous years.
And Scott has been all over Twitter touting how he's magically going to get more money in everybody's pockets.
I want to create an opportunity economy in FL that will create jobs for generations to come. #ItsYourMoney— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) January 29, 2014
It's your money- we want you to keep more of it in your pockets. #ItsYourMoney— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) January 29, 2014
The buzzwords, of course, remain: "tax cuts!"
Whether it actually helps, and whether it will help Scott win re-election will be the real magic trick.