Florida House Speaker on Budget negotiations
Here's the timeline. The differences between the House and Senate budgets must be worked out by next Monday (perhaps Tuesday) in order to have the requisite 72 hour discussion period in place prior to voting on the last day of the legislative session May 1, 2009. I say Monday because the budget must be printed and distributed which can take a day or so. At present, the two sides are discussing the issues behind closed doors. House speaker Larry Cretul provided an update on those discussions this afternoon and the news is not good for higher education.
We have informed the Senate that we would be willing to consider supporting nearly all of the proposals for additional revenues contained in their budget. But in return, the House is asking the Senate to support nearly all spending reductions proposed by the House.
This will ensure a long-term, fiscally sound budget approach. That approach responsibly reduces state government spending in the coming fiscal year.Such a course would prepare the state for the expiration of federal stimulus dollars beginning next year.
Those cuts include huge cuts to the University system. This is getting dire. If you have not written your representative and senator, there is no more time.