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Negron: Austerity Budget Has Room For A Reservior

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Senate President Joe Negron wants the state to build a $2.4 billion reservoir in western Palm Beach County, despite House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s call for budget cuts.

House and Senate budget battles are nothing new, even when the speaker and president are both Republican. But there isn’t much in Speaker Richard Corcoran’s history to suggest there’s room for compromise.

Earlier this year, Corcoran labeled Governor Rick Scott’s $250 million business incentive package “corporate welfare” before killing it outright. The year before, Corcoran and other ideologues led a revolt against Medicaid expansion.

But Negron is undeterred.

“I’m very optimistic that within the extraordinary budget that we have available to us, that we can find revenue to meet the priorities of both the House and the Senate.”

Budget forecasters say lawmakers will have less than 10 million new dollars to play with as they draft an $82 billion spending plan. Corcoran wants to start cutting now to fill a major shortfall predicted for next year.

But Negron is just as motivated. His Treasure Coast district was ground zero for massive toxic algae blooms that experts say the reservoir could prevent. 

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.