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Senate Floats June 1 As Possible Special Session Start Date

The inside of the Florida Senate Chamber
Florida Memory

The Florida Senate is floating June first as the start of a special session. The move comes after the House abruptly adjourned this week leaving the state without a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.  

The House’s decision to leave Tallahassee before the official end of the 2015 legislative session was born out of frustration with the Senate. The two chambers have been at odds over critical healthcare funding to support hospitals and uninsured Floridians. But the move drew fire from the Senate, and even a lawsuit by Senate Democrats, who say the House’s departure could be unconstitutional.

Now the Senate is suggesting a June 1st start for a special session to pick up where the two chambers left off on budget talks. The House has offered to hold hospitals harmless if they lose federal funding for uncompensated care. But the Senate is still holding on to a plan to expand Medicaid—the dividing factor between the two chambers. The Senate says the June 1 start date should give the federal government more time to decide whether to renew a separate program that reimburses hospitals for uncompensated care.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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