budgets

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Florida lawmakers are getting closer to a budget deal that will add more money for schools.

Florida schools would get $207 more per student if the Florida House agrees to a Senate education budget, or $7,097 per pupil.

John O'Connor / WLRN

 

Gov. Rick Scott visited a Miami elementary school Monday to ask lawmakers to meet his request for school funding.

Lawmakers return to Tallahassee today to finish the budget. The big disagreement is how to pay for health care. And that could affect how much money is left for education.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Polls show Governor Rick Scott and former Governor Charlie Crist are polarizing. Voters are as likely to dislike the candidates as they are to approve of them.

So both candidates are talking about schools, colleges and scholarships -- to motivate their supporters.

“Education is an issue that is helping to appeal to the base," says Sean Foreman, a Barry University political science professor and chairman of the education committee for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez was interrupted by applause more than once as he laid out the $6.2 billion budget to a crowd of about 150 at the sixth and final town hall in Miami Gardens. 

Fire services would remain intact, Gimenez says. No cops would lose their jobs. The grass would be cut on time and county library services would actually be expanded.

North Dade Regional Library, where the town hall took place, will now go from 48 hours-a-week to 56 hours-a-week and will also open on Sundays.

Wilson Sayre

  Stray animals in Miami-Dade county will soon have a new home come fall of 2015. County Animal Services broke ground Friday on a new facility that would double the amount of space it has now.

Every year, Animal Services cares for more than 27,000 homeless dogs and cats, but that volume has pushed the current facility to its capacity.

Getting to this point, though, has been a bit of a battle.

Creative Commons

Several of the biggest libraries in Miami-Dade may stay open seven days a week in October.

The interim director of the libraries has released a tentative library schedule based on what county budget commissioners tentatively passed in June. It gives the libraries almost 53 million, more than last year.

The extra money will allow the five largest branches to add Sunday service, meaning they’ll be open every day of the week.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez kicked off a series of budget town hall meetings this week, starting with a Facebook and Twitter discussion on Wednesday.

From noon to 1 p.m., locals submitted questions on the mayor's Facebook page and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Twitter using #MDCBudget.

classblog / Flickr

Broward County property owners could pay a little more for public schools next year.

The county school board tentatively approved a $3 billion spending plan Tuesday.

The Broward County schools’ budget cuts tax rates slightly, but rising property values will mean larger tax bills for homeowners. The owner of a $225,000 home would pay $14 more per year, district officials said.

The school board is expected to take a final budget vote in September.

In November, Broward County voters will determine whether to allow the district to borrow $800 million.

Douglas Hanks / Miami Herald

Fewer police officers, higher public transportation fares and cuts to organizations that provide social services. That's what would happen under Miami-Dade's proposed budget for next year.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez unveiled the plans for the 2015 county budget on Tuesday.

The proposal attempts to close a $64 million budget gap without raising property taxes. To do so, hundreds of jobs will be eliminated across the county government.

The police will receive the biggest cut, with a projected loss of at least 300 jobs. 

Creative Commons / Flickr user Phillip Pessar

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is slated to reveal his proposal for next year’s budget tomorrow and lots of eyes are on how much he will allocate for county libraries.

John Quick, president of Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Libraries, has fought cuts in library hours and personnel as the county is forced to dip into reserves to keep them afloat.

 

For Quick, $64 million is the magic number.

 

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