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House, Senate Agree To June Special Session For Budget Negotiations

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

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.”

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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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Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.