Florida House Passes Nearly $80B Budget
The Florida House has passed a nearly $80 billion budget after a lengthy partisan debate.
The House on Thursday voted 85-29 for the spending bill that includes money for schools, health care and environmental programs. The Senate is expected to pass a rival budget later in the day.
Republicans who control the House and Senate have about a month to negotiate a final budget. The budget will cover state spending from July 2016 to June 2017.
Democrats opposed to the budget criticized the House budget. They pointed out it relies on property tax increases in order to pay for a hike in school spending. They also complained that the budget includes a provision that prevent health care providers that receive state money from using it to contract with Planned Parenthood.
State. Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, said lawmakers should have had more time before the floor vote to resolve issues that came up during debate on the budget.
"I do hope perhaps there's a willingness in future legislatures, to perhaps understand these things, and then if we're whining, we're whining," he said.