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Rookie Lawmakers Face Budget Woes

November 12th, 2008 by flanews

Declining state revenues and a sour economy may soon be putting Floridas newest lawmakers to the test. As Whitney ray tells us, the states mounting financial woes could result in a special session on the budget.

Hear it Here: Rookie Lawmakers Face Budget Woes

Newly elected lawmakers were in Tallahassee Wednesday, to tackle some big issues. Thirty-four freshman house members took a guided tour of the capitol and some needed help finding their office. Representative Lake Ray said hes ready to take on the major issues, but knows he still has some catching up to do.

Ive been saying its a little bit like the dog catching the car. Now what do you do with it, said Ray.

Declining home sales and sagging tax collections are expected to cause a billion dollar budget hole before the month is out. While the freshman finished up their tour, Floridas Chief Financial Officer made this plea.

We cannot wait until next March to deal with this years, this fiscal years, financial issues, said CFO Sink.

With the possibility of a special session looming the freshman lawmakers could be put to the test sooner than expected.

Incoming Speaker of the House Ray Sansom said the new legislators are ready to go to work on the budget, but says its probably better to wait until March.

It takes a little time to organize and get everyone prepared for any decisions that we make about the budget, said Sansom.

Sansom said the state should borrow more trust fund dollars to balance the budget instead of calling a special session. The Florida Education Association announced its support for a special session this afternoon. Governor Charlie Crist is still holding off on making a decision about what to do until state economists meet next Friday.

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