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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Budget deal near

Word out of Tallahassee is that a budget deal will be announced shortly. No word on the exact details, but looks hopeful that the deal will be done either today or Wednesday.

Although this makes it sound less likely.

TALLAHASSEE -- House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, just told reporters what has become obvious: lawmakers physically don't have enough time to finish their budget work by the Friday adjournment of the regular, 60-day lawmaking session.

Because the finalized plan must sit on lawmakers' desks for 72 hours before it can be passed, the $65 billion-plus spending plan would have to be negotiated and off the printers by midnight Tuesday. But Senate President Jeff Atwater and House Speaker Larry Cretul haven't yet even signed off on how much money committee chairmen would have to divvy out to spending programs. So the chances of turning around the budget in the next 29 hours is near-impossible.

"First, you've got to agree on how much money you want to spend and reductions you have to make," said Cannon, who has been pushing to carry over a large surplus for when the state's share of the federal stimulus money runs out in two years.

But Cannon deflected just about every other question, saying the decision-making has been in the hands of the presiding officers since the end of last week.

It is confirmed that conferencing talks will begin at 4 pm today with hopes of finalizing the budget by May 8, 2009. No word yet on what deals were struck to reach this point.


Joe Meert


At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, it looks like the future of many was hammered out behind closed doors. Nothing new there.

Those being affected are always the last to know.

Now we wait for the verdict.

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As stated by the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper:

"Though Sen. Al Lawson, a Tallahassee Democrat, doesn't know exactly what budget leaders on each side agreed to, he offered some insight to what has been discussed. Details of where each side stands will come out for 4 p.m. conference committee meetings.

The House wants state workers pay cuts to begin at those making $50,000 a year or more, but Lawson said “that’s unacceptable.” He said he would prefer the cuts to begin with those earning $80,000 or more for a 1 percent cut.

“Anything may change the way things are going around here,” Lawson said. “But at least that’s where we are right now. We’re still going to fight not to have any cuts.”

Lawson said the House has backed off its $500 million in cuts to higher education.

“They’re down to about $120 million in cuts,” Lawson said. “We, the Senate, were not willing to have $500 million in cuts to education, because it would cause a massive amount of layoffs.”

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

that may be good for higher education. That probably means 30-40 million cut to UF.


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