House, Senate Agree To June Special Session For Budget Negotiations

May 6, 2015

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (l) speaks to Senate President Andy Gardiner prior to the legislative session.
Credit D.A. Robin / WFSU-FM

Florida lawmakers may get back to work on a budget as soon as June 1st. A joint memo by the House and Senate have declared the timeframe for Special Session “A”.

The memo comes after the House abruptly adjourned three days early, due to an impasse over healthcare funding. Rep. Michelle Rehwinkle Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, says lawmakers won’t be starting from scratch.

“We know what would have been in that budget. We passed a budget out of the House, and so I don’t think we need to get into panic mode here. That being said, it’s always good to have a Plan B and a Plan C.”

The state is dealing with the impending loss of a $2 billion joint federal and state program reimbursing hospitals for uncompensated care. It expires in June and despite a personal appeal by Governor Rick Scott, the federal government isn’t budging on its insistence the state needs to expand coverage. Lawmakers must pass a budget by July first.

“While significant discussions lay before us, today marks a very good day for Florida as we have reached agreement on dates for a budget Special Session," said House Speaker Steve Crisafulli in a written statement. "We look forward to working with our partners in the Senate as we make continued progress in the weeks ahead.”