Crist would tap $600-million in reserves
To keep the state budget in the black, Gov. Charlie Crist estimated Tuesday that he expects to use about half of the authority he has to tap two health care funds. The amount of money is slightly more than $600-million, he told reporters. Crist also said it was "not unlikely" that the 4-percent "holdback" on state agencies' budgets would be made permanent and that he opposes a special session to make changes to the budget.
The Legislature gave Crist the authority to dip into the Lawton Chiles endowment fund and the budget stabilization fund, but the BSF withdrawals must be repaid over five years and the witdrawals require approval of the 14-member Legislative Budget Commission.