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House and Senate Budget Plans Includes New Dollars

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.


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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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