Governor vs. governor a data comparison of florida’s rick scott, charlie crist electricity billy elliot karaoke with lyrics


Convicted felons are entitled to regain the right to vote, serve on a jury and run for office under certain conditions in Florida. In 2007, Crist and the Cabinet voted to make it easier for felons to regain their civil rights, but those reforms were changed in 2011 when Scott, and a different Cabinet, voted to require felons to wait at least five years after serving their sentence to reapply. From Jan. 1, 2007, to Sept. 16, 2014, the following numbers of felons regained their civil rights:

The state budget is often considered the blueprint of the governor’s priorities because he has ultimate veto authority over it. But it is also a negotiated agreement between his priorities and the powerful GOP-led Legislature. Here is the total state budget and the amount vetoed each year.

Florida’s government must balance its budget each year, and the governor has final say over the state’s spending plan. Over the years, the state has benefitted from low interest rates to expand its spending capacity by borrowing money for school construction, transportation and environmental conservation. Here is the outstanding state debt as of June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

An important measure of financial health is the level of general fund reserves, and rating agencies cite the level of reserves in determining the state’s credit strength. The governor has the ability to influence the reserves in approving the state budget.

Florida has had fewer workers on its payroll per capita than any other state for most of this decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2012, state governments nationwide had an average of 211 workers per 10,000 population while Florida had 111 workers per 10,000 — 47 percent less than the national average. The average salary for a state worker in Florida in 2013 was $38,299; the workforce was 57 percent female. According to the Department of Financial Services, Florida outsources nearly two-thirds of its spending to nonstate employees.

Florida’s state taxes include taxes on retail sales, utilities, fuel and corporate income. Tax rates have remained steady except for the corporate income tax, which has been gradually whittled down by expanding tax credits in 2009, 2010 and 2013.

Salaries for Florida public school teachers are negotiated by each of 67 school districts and fluctuate. The data below reflects averages and, in some cases does not include negotiated year-end bonuses and adjustments. The data, however, is a reflection of policy priorities as supported by the governor in a given budget year.

Florida funds K-12 education with a combination of state and local funding. Each school district must contribute property tax dollars and the state contributes general revenue dollars. The governor can influence education spending with his power to sign or veto the budget. One way to measure the role of the state in education spending is to break it down by per-pupil spending. Florida has consistently ranked at or near the bottom in per-pupil spending on education in the nation, according to data collected by the U.S. Census. Here are the numbers:

Florida’s executions have increased in pace in part because of a law enacted in 2013 to speed up the rate in which the death penalty is carried out. Under the Timely Justice Act, the governor has 30 days to sign a death warrant after an inmate has exhausted one round of appeals and, once a death warrant is signed, the execution must occur within 180 days.

One of the most significant pocketbook issues facing Floridians is their property insurance bill. The governor has indirect influence over the largest insurance carrier in the state, Citizens Property Insurance, whose president is confirmed by the governor and Cabinet. The governor also appoints two members of the nine-member board of directors and signs or vetoes insurance measures passed by the Legislature. The chart below shows the cost of the average property insurance premiums for all private property insurance in Florida, including Citizens, as well as the total exposure — the value of the property covered. As premiums have risen in recent years, the amount of property covered by those policies has declined.

The governor appoints the members of the Public Service Commission, which regulates utility rates in Florida. Due to the high air-conditioning use and the dependence on electricity to heat homes in the winter, Florida homeowners use more electricity that any other state except Texas. The total average price includes residential, commercial, industries and transportation. Here is the average price for electricity in Florida per megawatt hours:

The federal government requires the state to impose a tax on wages paid by Florida employers to pay for unemployment benefits received by unemployed individuals. In 2011, Florida legislators, with the governor’s support, reduced the eligibility for benefits and lowered the number of weeks employees could draw pay. In 2012, they reduced the amount of wages that could be taxed from $8,500 to $8,000. The national average for the taxable wage base is $16,683.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, is a federal program run by the state to provide temporary financial help to eligible low-income families. Scott pushed for and signed a law in 2011 that required anyone eligible for TANF to pass a drug test before receiving the funds. After a judge put the law on hold in February 2013, TANF cases began to rise. The law was ultimately struck down by the court in December 2013. Scott said he would appeal. Food stamps, or Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program, is another temporary federal program run by the state intended to help low-income people buy nutritional foods.