House and Senate Budget Plans Includes New Dollars

Mar 18, 2013

For the first time in about seven years, Florida could have a little extra money for its budget.

Florida House Speaker, Will Weatherford’s budget allocations include a minimum of a billion dollars in new money for Kindergarten through 12th grade funding. It would also restore a $300 million cut to universities from last years and fund maintenance projects at colleges and universities.

And Weatherford also wants an across the board state employee pay raise--the first state workers would see in six years. The House Speaker said his proposal would not require any funding reductions.

The House plan outlined more than $26.9 billion in spending from general revenue, $2 billion less than what will be available.

Meanwhile, the Senate plan allocates $26.8 billion in general revenue , with public and higher education set to get the largest increase.

Lawmakers remain cautious about the budget. The state has a $3.5 billion dollar surplus this year and no projected shortfall. However federal budget cuts now in effect, known as the "Sequester" continue to weigh heavily on state revenue forecasts.