Winners and Losers of Florida’s 2012-2013 Budget

Gov. Rick Scott put the ink on where funds will be flowing to some Tampa Bay area projects and where some will be cut off for Florida 2012-13 budget.

Winners:

Florida Holocaust Museum-This St. Petersburg museum will get $150,000 to help educate children about the history of the Holocaust.

St. Petersburg College Science Laboratories Project- The Bay Pines campus will get a whopping $2.5 million for new classrooms and labs.

Boys and Girls Club Facility Gets a new 13,000-Suware-Foot-Facility- The Lacoochee facility will get $1 million for a new community center.

Losers:

Digital Learning Project- SRI International, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the Pinellas County School District lost out on $2 million to help middle school math students.

Tampa Stormwater Improvements- Some $200,000 in additional funding was cut for stormwater improvements at Hillsborough Avenue and 30th Street.

Pinellas County Juvenile Addiction Receiving Facility– This facility missed out on $250,000 for a proposed addiction program.

Temporary Housing and Observation Beds for Mentally Ill Adults– Also called crisis beds, this center will not get the $400,000 in funds it needed.

Expressway Authority- $12.3 million will not be available should some Florida toll authorities miss its budget shortfall.

New Florida Bill would keep food stamps from being spent on strippers, gambling and junk food

A new controversial Florida bill will restrict some Florida residents from buying soda, candy bars or other junk foods-well, only if they are trying to use food stamps to pay for that two-liter or chocolate bar. “The taxpayer has a low toleration for those who are standing in line with two packs of soda and a bottle of Mountain Dew,” said Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico and the sponsor of SB 1658.

The bill would also keep those receiving federal assistance from using those funds to pay for a lap dance or gambling it away at a casino. Turns out, what happens in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas if an EBT card (set aside for general groceries) is used to pull the slots or try their hand at poker.

Critics of the bill claim that it oversteps personal choice boundaries and tries to “police” what they are eating and their lifestyle. “I hope we will stop trying to tell poor people every day what they should do in their lives and help them to make better choices … not by being their parent, but by being their helper,” said Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville.

If that is the case, then why have alcohol and tobacco been off limits?