FL Legislature Won't Finish On Time

May 2, 2017

Credit Nick Evans

The Florida Legislature will have to extend its regular meeting time or call a special session to reach an agreement on a spending plan for the coming year.

UPDATE 11:15 a.m.:

Rep. Carlos Trujillo (R-Miami) and Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater), budget chiefs for the House and Senate respectively, will hold a budget meeting at noon.  The conference committee will go over spending plans in seven of the nine budget silos, and the hearing likely marks the end of negotiations.  Once the chambers agree on a budget, lawmakers have to wait 72 hours before voting.

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House and Senate leaders have been tangling over the budget since Sunday afternoon, but they're blowing past a statutory deadline to reach an agreement.  State law requires lawmakers to introduce the budget 72 hours before voting on its approval.  

Tuesday evening, Senate President Joe Negron acknowledged he and House Speaker Richard Corcoran won't meet the cut off for ending session on schedule May 5.

"We will definitely not complete the budget work prior to the end of Friday," Negron says, "and so we'll continue to work diligently—we've made  a lot of progress today in a number of budget areas, so I'm optimistic we can continue that."

"But I think given the current schedule it's improbable we'd be able to finish before Friday."

From here lawmakers can extend the current session with the approval three fifths in both chambers or Negron and Corcoran can call a special session instead.