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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

How gov's budget handles 'recurring' question



What was the obvious question the Herald/Times asked at today's news conference as Gov. Charlie Crist released his 2009-10 budget recommendation? Answer: How much federal stimulus money did the governor plug into the budget to fill holes in recurring programs. (C'mon doubters, it's a no-brainer. Now stay tuned and read tomorrow's story.) Anyway, the gov's budget chief answered: 12 percent. (Jerry McDaniel didn't have an exact number.)

To get that passed, of course, will take a 3/5 vote of the legislature because it's four times higher than the 3 percent allowed to be spent on recurring general revenue expenditures by the state Constitution.

How else does the governor plug holes. Here's how:

* $529 million from a bottled water fee, 10 percent increase in motor vehicle registration, 10 percent increase in drivers license fees, increases in the solid waste disposal fee and the fee on overweight trucks.

* $300 million by bonding for prison construction

* $400 million in trust fund sweeps, leaving them virtually empty

* $274 million in trust fund reductions.

Here's the gov's answer on plugging recurring holes:

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:28pm]


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