The Florida Legislature has Begun Budget Conferencing

Senator Tom Lee and Representative Richard Corcoran announced Friday evening that they have come to an agreement on allocations, and will begin budget conferencing this weekend. The allocations provide the amount the state will be spending in total, it is a nonbinding agreement on how much General Revenue each budget category has to spend going into budget conference negotiations. For example the department of education has been allocated $15.4 billion, how the money will be spent within the education allocation will be decided over the next two weeks of conference. The legislature has also released the conferee assignments for the members of the legislature who will be making up each joint committee. These will be the individuals responsible for negotiating how the allocations will spent.

Click here to view all budget allocations.Click here to view Senate conferee assignments

Click here to view House Conferee assignments

The Legislature now has an $80 billion budget to divide up over the next couple of weeks. As part of the negotiations, the legislature will be cutting $400 million in taxes, well short of the $1 billion tax cut proposed by Governor Scott. Senator Lee has stated that $200 million of the cuts will come from reoccurring revenue streams and $200 million will be from non-reoccurring revenue. The allocation does not provide any funding for the Governor’s proposed Enterprise Florida Fund. Governor Scott had requested $250 million to fund Enterprise Florida Inc in an effort to lure more companies to Florida. The legislatures decision not to fund Enterprise Florida and not deliver $1 billion in tax cuts may have repercussions when it comes time for the Governor to sign the budget. A time which he may use his constitution authority to line-item veto any parts of the budget he does not like.

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