Published: Jan 31, 2012 9:04 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich says there's no need to pit children, the elderly and disabled against each other.
    
Rich stood just a few feet from Gov. Rick Scott at a Children's Week event Tuesday as she criticized a key element of his budget proposal without naming the Republican governor.
    
Scott has recommended a $1 billion spending increase for education and sharp cuts in health care.
    
Rich said that's "not only a cruel choice, it's a false choice."
    
She said both could be funded if the Republican-controlled Legislature would just close loopholes in existing tax laws.
    
Afterward Scott defended his budget proposal, saying he's trying to prevent taxpayers' money from being wasted.
    
He said Floridians shouldn't let "special interests" such as unions and trial lawyers "hijack our budget."

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