Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clock is ticking as Florida Senate, House begin work today on a budget agreement

TALLAHASSEE — Having wrestled with their respective budgets late last week, the House and Senate return today to begin what should be intense negotiations over a final product.

The budget conference process was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., but Sunday afternoon, leaders said it would be delayed. The Senate suggested the meeting be scrapped because the two chambers aren't yet in sync on a bottom line.

"We will continue to work with our Senate partners and will notify you when we have further information," House Speaker Larry Cretul, R-Ocala, wrote in a memo.

But sometime early this week, the posturing has to end, and budget leaders have to agree on a series of questions:

How big a cigarette tax increase? How much more gambling? How much money will be swept from trust funds — the single-purpose accounts for affordable housing and road building?

The task is especially difficult this year with an estimated $3 billion revenue shortfall. The House on Friday approved its $65 billion spending plan, but the vote was largely on party lines, with Democrats opposed.

The Senate on Thursday passed its spending plan unanimously. It spends nearly $550 million more than the House.

Also Monday, the Senate will take up the controversial proposal to ask voters to scale back the class-size amendment.

The House passed the plan on a largely partisan vote, with Democrats opposed because they fear it will hurt school funding.

The plan puts a constitutional amendment on the 2010 ballot that halts class-size compliance at the school average, while raising the maximum number of students per classroom.

Staff writer Steve Bousquet contributed to this report.

Clock is ticking as Florida Senate, House begin work today on a budget agreement 04/20/09 [Last modified: Monday, April 20, 2009 8:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  2. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  3. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  4. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  5. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]