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State Plans Trust Fund Raids

By Lynn Hatter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-884546.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Florida's economic slump has lawmakers eying Florida's trust funds again. One of them, the Sadowski Trust Fund, is a target for the second year in a row. That trust fund is used to support affordable housing initiatives. Lawmakers are considering raising the cap on how much money can be taken out of it.

Representative Larry Cretul is the Speaker of the House. He says the move could help spur growth in the construction industry, which has suffered in the wake of the housing bubble bust.

"We are going to lift the caps on the Sadowski Act. That will only help increase the opportunity for construction, getting people into homes, weatherization, things of that sort, whatever the trust fund does support," Cretul said.

The state took money from the Sadowski Trust last year and used it elsewhere in the budget. Cretul says that won't happen again this year. He says the money in the housing trust will be used for housing, but opponents of the move, mainly Democrats, say they worry that money may get diverted to other areas of the state's budget again.