Area residents and students are concerned with Gov. Rick Scott’s budget proposal that calls for the elimination of almost 13,000 jobs over two years.
In 2009, U.S. News ranked Tallahassee as one of the best places to find a job, seeing job growth in the areas of education, health services, hospitality, leisure and government.
Yet it appears Tallahassee is about to be hit pretty hard economically if Scott’s budget proposal, with tax cuts and state government layoffs, advances said Nathaniel Williams, a public administration professional from Orlando.
“The massive cuts to the public sector in Tallahassee will cause serious damage to the local economy,” Williams said. “There will be less dollars to put into local businesses and services which will eventually cause a further shortfall of revenue for the state,” said Williams.
On Feb. 7, Scott laid out a three-year budget proposal that would, among other things, eliminate 8,600 jobs in the fiscal year 2012, and 4,106 in the next year bringing total job cuts to 12,787. Those cuts are in addition to the elimination of 2,030 vacant positions to increase workforce efficiency, according to Politifact.org. As for the state employees who are fortunate enough to keep their jobs, they are set to experience benefit reductions.
A poll conducted by a local marketing research firm, reported that 76 percent of local citizens think state employers are being treated unfairly and 53 percent of citizens believe the Tallahassee economy will suffer as a result of Scott’s proposed cuts.
The idea of state cuts is haunting government bureaucrats around Tallahassee and now college students are starting to get concerned.
“This is going to cause a lot of people and college students to leave the Tallahassee area because there will be limited revenue,” said 20-year-old Alyssa Jackson, a sophomore nursing student from Orlando.
Jackson also said she believes the proposed government cuts could greatly affect the colleges and universities in the city. “This could really be a bad thing,” said Jackson as she dropped her head to wipe tear from her eyes.
“I think the crime rate is about to increase as a result of the increased unemployment,” said senior economics student Alexander Rosario, 23, from Lakeland.
“As the statewide job cuts draw near, I believe the city of Tallahassee will be dramatically affected by the issues already in the mist of the recession,” said 22-year-old Mike Mitchel, senior physical therapy student from Miami.
“The job cut will only diminish the hope or little hope that this community does have on becoming a place it once was,” said Mitchel.
“Everyone is working hard to be successful, so the government should try harder to help everyone succeed,” said 23-year-old Ronneesha Akins, a sophomore nursing student from Miami.