With five weeks left in session, the House and Senate have released their spending plans. They stand roughly $2 billion apart.
Three months ago, Florida Governor Rick Scott released his $83.5 billion spending plan—the House and Senate come in below that mark.
The House’s position is more austere. At just over $81 billion it’s more than a billion less than last year’s budget. Miami Republican Carlos Trujillo believes deep cuts are necessary.
“Our budget year the next fiscal year we go from a $1.2 billion deficit to an almost $1.1 billion surplus,” Trujillo says. “And the out years—the year after—we go from a $1.8 billion deficit to a $1.3 billion surplus.”
“The way we’ve been able to do that,” he goes on, “is we’ve for the first time—in at least my time up here—we’ve gone after member projects and recurring projects and eliminated a substantial amount of them.”
Florida’s general revenue fund is actually growing, but the state’s precarious economic situation comes thanks in part to refusing additional federal Medicaid funding and habitual tax cutting. The Senate plan comes in at $83.1 billion—less than the governor’s proposal, but still almost $2 billion off from the House.