Advocates Offer Budget Ideas

TAMPA -

State revenues are shrinking which leaves lawmakers with the option to cut programs and services or find more money. A coalition of advocacy groups representing children, senior citizens and taxpayers is offering its ideas at a public forum in Tampa Wednesday.

Lawmakers have already reduced the state budget $6 billion in the past year. And, another $1 billion shortfall is looming.

But, additional across the board cuts are not the answer says Robert Weissert of Florida Tax Watch.

'Florida Tax Watch has for a long time advocated going in with a scalpel and removing little bits of inefficiencies doing things better and therefore providing better value for the taxpayers,' Weissert says. 'If we can do that, we can free up general revenue to be redirected toward core services.'

Florida Tax Watch is working with AARP and several children's advocacy groups to stop to any more reductions in social services.

Instead, their coalition, Florida's People - Florida's Promise, is suggesting funding alternatives like a video lottery and collecting taxes on internet sales.

The alliance is hoping the town hall meetings will help shift legislative priorities.

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