nitiatives in the 17-page “New Sunshine Deal” include $500 annual tax rebate programs for low/moderate-income households, a 13-percent salary increase for school teachers, a $1,000 raise for state workers, expanding Medicaid coverage to an additional 700,000 residents, and boosting Florida Forever funding to $300 million.
And it would do so, House Democrats say, while spending $700,000 less than DeSantis is proposing to do.
Now all the 47 House Democrats have to do is get the House’s 73 Republicans to agree to even consider their “New Sunshine Deal” proposals, some of which would require about 25 GOP votes to meet supermajority thresholds for adoption.
The “New Sunshine Deal,” presented by House Minority Leader Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Cutler Bay, and other House Democrats, is the first formal budget proposal submitted by Democrats in more than 20 years.
McGhee said Democrats will introduce components of the plan as amendments to proposed bills throughout the 60-day legislative session, which began Tuesday.
“I heard yesterday a governor who is open to solutions, and I also believe there are members of this legislative body who are willing to push Florida forward,” he said. “What I believe is that we have 58 days” to get “New Sunshine Deal” initiatives introduced and discussed.
The Democrats’ budget plan includes $1.8 billion more in tax revenues than DeSantis’ spending request calls for.
DeSantis’s budget request offers $335 million in tax cuts for families. The Democrats’ plan would provide up to $525 million in tax savings under a Working Families Tax Rebate Program spearheaded by Rep. Amy Mercado, D-Orlando.
“The funding will serve as a rebate against taxes paid by working families struggling to make ends meet,” Mercado said. “It will also serve to expand our economy and create jobs.”
McGhee’s House Bill 1411 seeks to implement the program by allowing families that qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit to be eligible for a state rebate of about $500 a year.
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