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Budget Special Session Still in Limbo

June 8th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

Florida Schools are one step closer to seeing a hundred dollars more per student next year. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, movement came after the state senate dropped a controversial plan to rely on  increased property values to fund local school contributions.

Lawmakers moved quickly to give schools 215 million more next year.

Senate Budget Chair Jack Latvala handled the bill in his committee.

“That’s a hundred dollars more per student for every district in the state” says Latvala.

The 100 dollar per student increase is exactly what the governor asked for when he ordered lawmakers back.

“149 million is non-recurring general revenue” Latvala told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

A Dispute over how to pay for the increase evaporated when the Senate dropped a plan to use increased property taxes to fund a locally required effort.

“We decided that we would just do what we did during the regular session and put it in with general revenue” said Latvala after the meeting.

Lawmakers are also poised to give the Governor everything he asked for for Visit and Enterprise Florida. During the regular session, the House fought the funding because the system allowed corporations to get big checks. Now there will be limitations on how the money can be used.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran says it’s a new way of doing business

“What we are doing now is giving a fund for the Governor to go out there and do across the board, infrastructure and education, that benefits the entire state” says Corcoran.

The extra school spending comes as an addition to the original appropriation which the governor vetoed. The Senate wants the House to now override that veto.

Despite the Senate’s approach, the House says its not going to override the Governor’s veto. it’s going to start the busters process from scratch.

“We’re talking about school children and jobs, so I think we’ll….Again, it’s not over until the fat lady sings” Corcoran told reporters after Thursdays floor session.

The odds of everything getting done Friday? Just slightly better than 50/50

By starting the budget process from scratch, lawmakers could face a constitutional requirement to wait three days before voting on the budget. Each extra day costs taxpayers 70 thousand dollars.

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