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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Cretul's warning on federal cash cow



House Speaker Larry Cretul weighed in on the stimulus package and state budget debate today, warning that the $6 billion injection of Cretul said he expects the federal money to amount to a $6 billion injection federal cash shouldn't be used by the legislature to create a deeper hole when the money runs out.

He said he hopes that "if we take any of this money, it will never be used for recurring expenses because I think you can get yourself into a box there,'' he said in an interview with the Times/Herald.

But he doesn't want budget writers to use the money to replace so-called recurring programs that are in the state's base budget.

"This stimulus package has been a moving target for us, especially in the last couple days,'' Cretul said. "Our numbers people have been asking questions about it and have been receiving answers, primarily from the D.C. people, and to the same question the answers change daily."

Cretul admits, however, that he remains open to listening. If his budget experts persuade him to use the one-time cash infusion for recurring needs, "I'll certainly ask them why.''

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:27pm]


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