Rep. Grimsley to House: We will not negotiate with ourselves
Senate budget chief JD Alexander's decision to tee off on House Speaker Dean Cannon could blow up -- on Mike Haridopolos, the Senate president and candidate for U.S. Senate.
First, the budget impasse makes on on-time finish less likely. And that's bad news for a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate who wants to hit the campaign trail and have voters judge him on his record.
Secondly, the House has released a detail of the negotiations that suggest Alexander is over-riding Haridopolos. That could make the Senate president subject to claims that he's not running his chamber, etc. Here's the sheet: Download Most Recent Allocation Offers
Here's the House version of what's happening and what has happened. It was sent by email to House members by Appropriations Chair Denise Grimsley:
I wanted to take a few moments to update you on the budget process. At this point, we have been unable to reach common allocations with the Senate.
Attached you will find spreadsheets that detail the recent series of offers and counter offers between the chambers. There remain a number of outstanding issues including the degree of higher education funding and the scope of the reduction to the Florida Retirement System.
Prior to the start of the Senate’s week-long recess, the House made an offer that had the two chambers only $155 million apart. We were optimistic that this offer would put us in striking distance of starting budget conference this week. Unfortunately, in each subsequent offer we have received, the Senate opened up previously agreed on issues and moved further and further away to the point where the last Senate offer places the House and Senate $425 million apart.
I fully embrace the need to be flexible and work toward a mutually beneficial outcome. However, while I am serving as the Appropriations Chair, the House will not engage in a one-sided conversation that leaves us negotiating against ourselves.
I am hopeful that we will bring this process to a close, but I am committed to ensuring that we do not allow deadlines to influence our policymaking. The House will continue to advocate for a responsible budget that balances critical needs and ensures adequate reserves. We will also continue to insist that the budget be balanced on real, provable reductions and actuarially sound policies.
I will continue to update you as the process unfolds.