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Education Showdown: Lawmakers Agree On Dollar Amount, Not Approach

Credit Nick Evans

With time running out in this week’s special session, state lawmakers have lined up a showdown over education funding.  Both chambers are planning final votes Friday. 

In a flurry of hearings, state lawmakers have pushed medical marijuana, economic development, tourism and education bills to the House and Senate floor.  But paying for the education bill could put the other measures in jeopardy.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) is pushing an approach that would require overriding the governor’s school funding veto.

“It’s the same amount of money,” Latvala sputters.  “It’s easy—all they have to do is override the veto, vote on our bill and you have half of what we came her to do done.”

The governor made the veto to force lawmakers to appropriate more money.  The Senate has already voted for the override—which would maintain original funding—and sent a supplemental funding package to the floor.  

But the House favors covering increases with money from member projects the governor struck from the budget.  

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