With three weeks left before the end of the regularly scheduled legislative session, the two chambers of the Florida Legislature are about $4 billion apart in their spending plans. While the gap is closing, the fundamental position of the top budget lawmaker in the House is to shrink state spending.
"Our priority in the House was to limit the size of government," said Appropriations Committee Chairman Carlos Trujillo, R-Doral. The House-approved measure does that by cutting total state government spending by $1.1 billion below this year's budget. It is more than $2 billion less than Gov. Rick Scott's proposed spending plan and $4 billion under the Senate-approved measure.
The ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, voted for the House budget. But he noted that "if the budget comes back to us because [Gov. Scott vetoes it] because we don't adequately fund some of the things he's looking for, the override runs through the Democratic caucus in the House."
The two party budget bosses discuss the budget, spending on education, health care, economic incentives and the environment in this episode of The Sunshine Economy.
Here are the major budget deadlines lawmakers face:
• May 2 -- completion of final state budget
• May 5 -- end of regular session
• June 30 -- end of current fiscal year
• July 1 -- beginning of new budget year