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Big Budget Hole

January 14th, 2010 by flanews

State economists say next years budget shortfall will reach 3 billion dollar, but the recent freeze could add another half a billion dollars to their prediction.

Early estimates show crop loss reaching into the hundreds of millions of dollars. The lost crops could force thousands to file for unemployment. 700-thousand people statewide work in agriculture. Its Floridas second largest industry behind tourism. Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson says the damage will ultimately impact schools, roads, and prisons.

Depending on how bad this really gets toward the end of this narrow window we are going to be looking at, its going to have a big economic impact on the state and on the tax collection the state brings in to pay for schools and health care and corrections and all sorts of things, said Bronson.

Lawmakers are also considering laying off state workers to make ends meet.

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