TALLAHASSEE — Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander seems a little more dour these days, especially when budget talks broke down, but he said the Republican Senate and House will likely come to an agreement by session's end, May 6.
Ostensibly, the chambers are snagged over higher education funding (the Senate wants more) and pensions — the House slaps a 3 percent contribution requirement on state workers; the Senate has a stair-stepped approach of 2, 4 or 6 percent depending on income level.
But a good deal of the disagreement is rooted in pride. Both chambers have worked long and hard on their budgets and they don't want to negotiate away just yet. Also, Alexander and House Speaker Dean Cannon had quite a clash in 2009 over the budget, and there's a hint of hard feelings in the air.
Alexander said that won't last: "It's a non-election year. So there's more testosterone flowing."