Florida, this budget session could hurt some
Florida legislators will start the new year in familiar fashion: by cutting aid to schools and other programs, borrowing money, skimming cash surpluses and hiking traffic and court fees to patch a $2.3-billion hole in a leaky state budget.
The special session that begins Monday marks the third major round of cuts in 10 months and is the result of a prolonged nosedive in tax revenues caused by the recession-racked real estate and credit markets.
Barred by the state Constitution from deficit spending and firmly opposed to new taxes, the state's Republican leaders are in a budgetary corner, forced to further constrict spending.
"Times are bad for Floridians," said Senate Majority Leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla of Miami. "We're going to have to make decisions here that no one will really like." (story here)