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FL House, Senate Leaders Lock Horns Over Local Spending Rule

The Florida Senate Rules Committee discussing its proposal for a new joint rule.
Nick Evans

Florida’s legislative session is less than a month away, but House and Senate members might have other concerns on their minds.  The Senate is demanding revisions in the House’s new appropriation rules. 

In a bid to shrink the state budget, House leaders have installed new rules requiring members file local projects as separate bills.  The deadline for those projects was Tuesday.  But Senate budget Chief Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) says the system effectively locks senators out of the process.

“The rule says basically that the House controls the budget process because everything has to go through a bill in the House,” Latvala says, “and constitutionally we do not believe that one house can write rules for the other house.”

Latvala says so far House leaders have been responsive. They’re currently working on a counter-proposal for a new rule.   Whatever ideas both sides agree on will have to go before the full chambers.