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Balancing the Budget

November 11th, 2008 by flanews

State economists are expecting a billion dollar revenue shortfall when they meet next week. Floridas Chief Financial Officer wants a special session to balance the budget, but as Whitney Ray tells us, the incoming Speaker of the House opposes the idea and the governor is still weighing his options.

Hear it Here: Balancing the Budget

Declining sales tax revenues may cause a billion dollar deficit in the state bank account. Floridas Chief Financial Officer said a special session is needed soon to balance the budget.

Well lay out all the options for the legislators and it will be their decision at the end of the day how they want to make up the shortfall, because there will be a shortfall and theyll have to make it up somehow, said CFO Alex Sink.

But opinions differ on how the budget void should be filled. Incoming Speaker of the House Ray Sansom said the state should tap reserves instead of calling lawmakers back to Tallahassee.

We made some provisions so the governor could take money out of the Lawton Chiles Endowment Trust Fund and some other trust funds approved by the LBC, the Legislative Budgeting Commission, to keep the budget balanced, said Sansom.

But the state has already taken more than 625 million dollars from trust funds this year alone. Governor Charlie Crist has been shying from the idea of a special session, but appears to be rethinking the decision.

I need to look at it. Ive gotten a couple calls about it, so I need to check into it, said Crist.

If a special session is called, lawmakers will have to decide between making more budget cuts or passing more taxes. If a special session is called, many think it would be held in the middle of December or the first week in January.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Legislature, State Budget, State News, Taxes | 1 Comment »

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