How is the state government spending its money?

Published On: May 29 2014 04:47:12 PM EDT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Gov. Rick Scott has until June 4 to sign the record $77 billion state budget. An estimated 20.5 million people now live in Florida, and that means your individual share of the spending plan is just over $3,800.

When it comes to public safety, Florida Department of Law Enforcement spends just under $30,000 an hour, while the courts cost $57,000 an hour. Housing prisoners costs taxpayers $262,000 an hour, each and every hour of every day.

Tyrone Hamilton shines shoes a block from the Capitol. In the nine minutes it took him to do one shoeshine the state spent more than $1 million.

“I should hope that million dollars is spent on something that’s going to be good for the consumer, good for children,” Hamilton said.

And that’s exactly where the money goes. Schools get just under a third of the total, spending almost $43,000 a minute. In the 31 seconds it took students to exit their classroom, the state spent just over $22,000

The Department of Children and Families will spend $3 million a day protecting children. In the 24 seconds it takes a light to turn green and back to red, the State Department of Transportation will spend $7,700.

The state police agency will spend $492 a minute keeping us safe, while the cost of locking up bad people costs ten times that much.

Retired lawyer Judson Ball was flabbergasted when Channel 4 told him his share was just under $4,000.

"(That's) hard to believe," Ball said.

But Jerry McDaniel, who developed budgets for three governors, said Florida is more thrifty than most states.

“The state of Florida has the lowest number of state employees, per capita,” McDaniel said.

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