June 8, 2001
Source: The Republican Party of Florida
Tallahassee - "It's a great day for the state of Florida. Our Governor has worked hard and achieved great things. Unlike the typical politicians that talk and don't act, Governor Bush has delivered on the campaign issues that he ran on in 1998.
His top priority has been assuring that Florida's school children receive a first class education, and today in Florida tests scores are soaring and accountability in our classrooms has never been higher. Once again parents and students are gaining confidence in our state's education system.
The Governor pledged to reduce crime in our state and he has done just that. Florida's crime rate continues to plummet and the Governor's 10-20-Life initiative has dramatically reduced gun crimes in our state. Drug use is down thanks to the most comprehensive anti-drug plan Florida has ever seen.
Governor Bush has delivered on his pledge to help the most vulnerable in our state by increasing funding for our elders with his Aging-in-Place initiative, increasing funding for children's health insurance, and pushing for record increases in funding for the developmentally disabled in our state.
The Governor has led the fight for historic environmental initiatives like Florida Forever and the restoration of the Everglades and has he pushed through the largest tax relief package that Floridians have ever benefited from.
This Governor has accomplished much - and his record of positive results for Florida is long. Today the people of Florida win with the Governor's announcement - today the future of Florida became even brighter."
Governor Jeb Bush’s Record of Accomplishment
Improving Student Achievement
- Funding on K-12 education has seen the largest 3 year increase during the term of any governor – a $2.36 billion increase, a 23% increase over three years, and a per-student increase of 14.2% over three years.
- The number of F schools in Florida has dropped in three years from 78 to four to none. The percentage of A and B schools has increased from 21 percent in 1999 to 41 percent, while the percentage of D and F schools decreased from 28 percent to 12 percent during the same period.
Improving Public Safety
- 10-20-LIFE, a 1998 campaign initiative of Governor Bush to provide certainty of punishment for violent gun criminals, is reducing violent gun crimes. The violent gun crime rate in 2000 declined by 26.4 percent as compared to 1998. Violent-gun crime volume declined from 31,600 in 1998 to 25,214 violent gun crimes committed in 2000.
- In 1999, the state’s crime rate declined 10.8 percent, the largest drop in state history. In 2000, the progress continued with an 8.1 percent drop in index crime. Since 1999, index crime has declined by 18 percent, the steepest 2-year decline in state’s history. In the year 2000, Florida experienced its lowest crime rate since 1972.
- In 2000, juvenile arrests decreased by 4.8 percent as compared to 1999, and a 7.1 percent drop in juvenile arrests for the most serious offenses.
Helping the Most Vulnerable
- Our Children – Total enrollment of children in the state’s publicly funded health insurance programs has increased by 470,000 children, a 60 percent increase since Governor Bush took office.
- Our Elders – Increased funding for aging-in-place programs and community care for the elderly by $96 million, an increase of 45 percent.
- Our Most Vulnerable – Increased funding for service to help those with developmental disabilities by $379.4 million, an unprecedented increase of 75 percent, projected to fully serve an additional 28,497 people.
Protecting Florida’s Unique Environment
- Restoration of America’s Everglades – After years of litigation and delay, Governor Bush helped bring together all of the state, federal, environmental, and agricultural interests to pass within a single year the new state and federal laws providing the funding necessary to begin the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Florida and the federal government are now full and equal partners in the world’s largest ecosystem restoration project.
- Florida Forever – Governor Jeb Bush proposed and then led the bipartisan effort to establish the Florida Forever program, which makes a $3 billion commitment to saving the last great wilderness areas of Florida, restoring lakes and rivers, and creating new recreational opportunities. Unspoiled beaches, vast prairies, ecologically critical scrub areas and subtropical hardwood forests are being saved forever.
- Clean Water – Governor Bush led the effort to modernize management of Florida’s revolving loan fund to make available an additional $225 million to local governments for wastewater projects over three years without raising taxes. All told, Florida has increased its commitment to clean water by nearly twenty-fold from $11 million to $198 million over the past two years.
Smaller, More Efficient Government
- Tax Relief – During the first three years of his administration, Governor Bush has overseen a cumulative total of $4.1 billion in tax relief for Florida’s families and businesses. These tax savings will accumulate to $5.9 billion over four years. Over the past three a cumulative $2.3 billion in relief has been granted to intangibles taxpayers. By the end of the next fiscal year, an estimated 740,000 taxpayers will have been completely removed from the rolls.
- Smaller, More Efficient Government – State government grew by 12,524 full-time employees (10.9 percent) over the eight years prior to the Bush Administration. The trend has been reversed over the most recent two fiscal years, when the state bureaucracy has been reduced by 2,351 permanent positions. Approximately 4,467 additional positions will be eliminated in the coming fiscal year, bringing the three-year total decline to about 6,818 fewer positions.
- Record Vetoes of Inappropriate Government Spending – During the first two years in office, Governor Bush vetoed $626 million in budget line items, ensuring fiscal responsibility with Florida’s tax dollars.