|Published:||Mar 09, 2011 3:01 AM EST|
|Updated:||Mar 09, 2011 12:02 AM EST|
NAPLES, Fla.- As Governor Rick Scott addressed the state on Tuesday, hundreds right here in Southwest Florida gathered to protest his ideas. A crowd rallied in Downtown Naples, to sound off on what they believe is an attack on Florida's middle class.
Rain or shine, the group of protesters stomped Fifth Avenue on Tuesday. Their signs were a little soggy, but their message was strong.
"Get involved and say enough. No more," Mike Stone of Naples said.
The 250 protesters are asking lawmakers to oppose Governor Rick Scott's proposed budget cuts, changes that would scale back government workers' benefits and pay.
"They deserve benefits. They deserve the ability to not have their houses taken away, lose their mortgages. They deserve to have food on the table," Stone said.
But in his first State of the State, Governor Scott suggested public servant's pay could use a little tweaking.
"Educators, like other professionals, should be rewarded based on the effectiveness of their work, not the length of their professional life. That's why Florida needs to pay the best educators more and end the practice of guaranteeing educators a job for life regardless of their performance," Governor Scott said Tuesday.
Some Naples educators say the Governor's plan is flawed.
"We have no teacher tenure. We have no guarantees. The governor is trying to make it sound like we have tenure when we do not. A bad teacher can be gotten rid of and I hope they are," Golden Gate Middle School teacher Linda McDonald said.
Still, some support the Governor's spending cuts, saying it's a sign of the times and in the best interest of the state.
"I had to cut my budget. I didn't get my Social Security. I got a cut in Social Security. I have no pension. I had to live on my own saved dollars," one on-looker, who wished not to be named, said Tuesday.
Awake the State rallies protesting the Governor's budget cuts were held in 33 different locations across Florida on Tuesday.