Senate Week in Review
The State Senate Finance Committee finished up the education and health and human services portions of the Senate budget bill last Thursday, adopting workgroup recommendations on the two largest portions of the budget.
The Education workgroup made a number of changes from the introduced version of the Senate bill. Tweaks to the school funding formulas mean that no school will have less money than last biennium. The recommendations also increased the amount of money flowing to pre-kindergarten classes and more money for training teachers of students with autism, and more money for early college programs that let high school students earn an associate’s degree over their four years of secondary education.
Recommendations made by the Health and Human Services workgroup include more money for case load growth, infrastructure improvement and operations at the Department of Aging and Disability services. The workgroup also put in $200 million toward expanded mental health services and $100 million more for women’s health programs. The recommended Health and Human services budget also fully funded all agency items related to hiring additional case workers at Child Protective Services.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was in town Wednesday to talk about public education reform. He encouraged members of the Senate Education Committee to set lofty goals when it comes to improving public education.