A day after Republican Gov. Rick Scott visited Orlando, two Democratic Florida legislators criticized his policies on education and mass transit.
Florida Sen. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, spoke out against Scott’s education policies. State Rep. Victor Torres, D-Orlando, criticized the All Aboard Florida train project.
Thompson, who is running for re-election this year, said Scott is funneling taxpayer money to charter schools at the expense of public schools — particularly older ones that need renovation.
“He has gutted the education budget to pay for tax breaks for his corporate friends,” Thompson said at a news conference in front of the Orange County Courthouse.
Although Scott recently increased the public-education budget, it still has not been restored to pre-recession levels.
At 45th in the nation, “We’re at the bottom of the barrel in terms of funding,” Thompson said.
Scott embraced All Aboard Florida, which Torres said would benefit a private company, but he turned down federal money for high-speed rail between Orlando and Miami.
Scott’s actions, Torres said, show a “striking lack of concern for middle- and lower-income residents.”
While in Orlando Tuesday, Scott touted Florida’s falling crime rate and expressed support for a state law that requires inmates to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences.