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Session ends with hard feelings after major meltdown

Saturday, May 7th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Lawmakers approved a $69.7 billion spending plan and quietly ended the 2011 legislative session at 3:35 a.m. without any pomp and circumstance.

Instead, the 60-day session ended with Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon publicly rebuking each other over with Haridopolos accusing Cannon of playing “silly games” and Cannon claiming to “take the high road” by rejecting a controversial Senate tax break.

Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, called his members back after 2 a.m. this morning to take up a tax-break proposal that includes a three-day sales tax holiday for back-to-school shoppers after the House stripped out a tax break for at least one greyhound dog track in Senate Rules Chairman John Thrasher’s district.

Haridopolos apologized for asking them to return about an hour after he sent them home and instructed them the session would reconvene at 10 a.m.

Shortly before Haridopolos recalled the Senate, Cannon gaveled down the House without passing two claims bills that were Haridopolos priorities. Eric Brody was set to get $12 million from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for an accident more than a decade ago that left him severely disabled, and William Dillon was slated to get less than $1 million after being wrongfully imprisoned for nearly three decades for a crime he didn’t commit.

“They should have been served today by this legislature. Politics got in the way today and I’m embarrassed,” he said.
Gov. Rick Scott left the building around midnight as the legislative session devolved into chaos. Scott had been scheduled to participate in the ceremonial white hanky drop but instead went home to bed because he had a busy schedule this weekend, his spokesman Brian Burgess said.

The House approved the budget shortly before 2 a.m., about two-and-a-half hours after the Senate and following some very hard feelings between the two chambers.

The House then took up the disputed tax break bill (CS/SB 7203).

But the House remained angered by the Senate’s killing a pair of professional deregulation bills earlier in the night — with House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, saying that move broke an agreement between the two chambers.

“In light of the Senate’s inability to meet that obligation, I’ve decided that our chamber would take the high road…and send it all to the Senate tonight, and leave no ambiguity,” Cannon said.

The House took up the tax-break bill, voted to remove the Jacksonville track provision, repackaged the measure as HB 143 and sent it back to the Senate. With the budget behind them, and the tax-break package structured to their liking, Cannon and House members adjourned at 2:07 a.m., Saturday.

(more…)

Pension work nears finish line

Friday, April 29th, 2011 by John Kennedy

Plans to dramatically revamp Florida pensions at the state and city levels appeared headed Friday toward the finish line — far short of where Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers had initially proposed.

House and Senate negotiators have settled on extracting 3 percent paycheck contributions from 655,000 teachers, police, firefighters and other government employees enrolled in the Florida Retirement System, part of an effort to pull $1.1 billion into the state’s recession-strapped budget.

But a plan to scrap the state’s Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) has been abandoned,  House and Senate negotiators agreed. The House had wanted to bar the lucrative early retirement program to new enrollees in July; the Senate in 2016.

But what emerged Friday night from House lead negotiator Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, was a proposal to reduce the 6.5 percent interest rate paid on DROP benefits to 1.3 percent. The move will save $81 million, if agreed to by Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Wellington, the Senate’s lead negotiator on the Florida Retirement System.

Among other changes nearing agreement are a plan to increase the retirement age for new enrollees in the FRS from age 62 to 65.  An existing 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment would be eliminated for service earned after July 1, with Workman saying the goal being that it would be reinstated in 2016.

That change save $404.8 million, analysts said.

Meanwhile, plans to revamp municipal pensions also have been scaled-back. (more…)

Senate in session on Saturday, no budget committee today

Thursday, April 28th, 2011 by Dara Kam

The Florida Senate will be in session on Saturday, Senate President Mike Haridopolos said.

Haridopolos has ordered the rare weekend session to try to finish up work before the scheduled end of the legislative session next Friday.

“We want to give everyone the opportunity on a bill to have their voice heard. I think that’s worked out very well for us. It’s reduced a lot of the tension,” said Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island.

Haridopolos, who is running for U.S. Senate, said that lawmakers would be in town anyway as they negotiate differences between the two chambers’ budgets and other priority bills.

“It just makes sense that we would have a Saturday session and make the best use our time since we’re all going to be here anyway,” he said.

Adding to the delay is a postponement to a Senate Budget Committee meeting where an immigration package hangs in the balance as GOP leaders from the House and Senate try to work out a deal with Gov. Rick Scott before taking a floor vote.

That meeting won’t meet today, Haridopolos said, but could meet tomorrow, making it possible the Senate could take up its immigration proposal on Saturday.

Cannon and Haridopolos talk of refereeing budget fight, and then there’s Scott’s tax cut

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 by John Kennedy

House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos made an unusual joint address Tuesday morning to the state House, praising the work – and their friendship — which they said led to the framework of a budget deal unveiled earlier in the day.

“We’re poised to bring this thing in for a landing on time,” said Cannon, R-Winter Park, with an eye on the session’s scheduled May 6 close.

Plenty of differences stand between the two sides. But setting budget allocations — as the two sides did Tuesday – sets the stage for public negotiations to begin Wednesday morning. As usual, Tuesday’s horse-trading was conducted behind closed doors between the leaders – belying Florida’s government in the sunshine constitutional standard.

Cannon apparently was satisfied when the Senate agreed to put on a ballot next year his demand for a proposed overhaul of the Florida Supreme Court — which rejected three constitutional amendments approved last year by state lawmakers.

Even with the court deal, Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, and his House counterpart, Rep. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, traded harsh words. And Alexander accused Cannon of “gamesmanship.”

“I really applaud the speaker. He is my friend. And this friendship really, really made a difference as we got through this difficult time,” said Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, after leaving the House floor. “Yesterday was really and up and down day.”

Haridopolos wouldn’t say what the Senate earned in return for the court concession. But he did acknowledge that some of the focus now is on sated Gov. Rick Scott, who is demanding a reduction in the state’s corporate income tax — part of $2 billion in tax cuts he demanded in his budget blueprint.

“I think you’ll see tax relief within this budget,” Haridopolos said. “We’re going to find out where the most support is, and we’re going to find out where the most support is within the various tax relief items.”

After tough talk, Legislature’s budget deal begins to take shape

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 by John Kennedy

The House and Senate have agreed to budget allocations — a broad spending agreement that allows lawmakers to now begun negotiating tomorrow on differences between the two sides, House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos announced Tuesday.

The move comes after tough words were exchanged a day earlier between the two sides. But even more significantly, the Senate abandoned its resistence to putting on next year’s ballot a Cannon plan to overhaul the Florida Supreme Court.

It also gives lawmakers some hope of ending the legislative session May 6 — the final scheduled day of the 60-day session.

“Resolving a budget shortfall of nearly $4 billion is a tall order, but I’m pleased the House and Senate wored through this difficult process,” said Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island. “Our allocations ensure that we preserve our bond ratings by maintaining adequate reserves. Most importantly, we do not take money out of the struggling Florida economy by increasing taxes or fees.”

Haridopolos apparently is overlooking the tuition increases, pay cuts to government employees, reduced education financial aid and possible increases to property insurance, telephone and electricity rates that are either part of the state budget or still in play as lawmakers roll through the legislative homestretch.

Cannon said he would announce his House budget negotiating team this afternoon, with the Senate also naming its deal-makers. The conference committee’s first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Senate prez ‘used to pulling all-nighters’

Monday, April 25th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Stalled budget talks between the two chambers aren’t much of a concern to Senate President Mike Haridopolos, who showed up at the Senate Budget Committee this afternoon to speak in favor of a joint resolution telling Congress to balance the federal budget.

“The good news is that we are in our side-by-side spending the same amount of money and we’re not going to raise taxes or fees,” Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, said. “We’re going to be here every day working hard…We’re going to work this out.”

Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander and his House counterpart Denise Grimsley haven’t agreed on the allocations for the major areas of the state spending plan. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, said he made an offer to the House on Thursday evening but hasn’t heard back yet with just two weeks left in the 2011 legislative session.

Haridopolos said he’s not worried about finishing up on time as Alexander and his cohorts carve nearly $4 billion from last year’s budget – with no stimulus funds to help soften the cuts.

“We’ve never seen reductions like this. This is the real deal,” he said.

Haridopolos, who’s running in the U.S. Senate GOP primary, said he’s “in no rush” to hit the campaign trail and said he intends to keep up the hectic pace established since the session began.

“I’m dedicated that however long it takes we will be here, working on the weekends, late into the nights. I’m a college teacher…I’m used to pulling all-nighters. We might have to do it again here to make sure we finish. But I’m here. The Senate will be here. We’re ready to negotiate and we are negotiating,” he said.

Library Guy: Location, location, location!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Paul Clark, aka “The Library Guy,” was a familiar presence in the Capitol last year as he stood silently in busy hallways holding a sign urging lawmakers to fully fund the $21.2 million in state aid to libraries to keep federal funds flowing.

Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, credited Clark with the last-minute addition of the complete funding and advised other advocates to take a tip from the soft-spoken librarian. Clark’s efforts also won him a national “I Love My Librarian” award in December, and he was recently named Florida’s “Librarian of the Year.”

Clark was back in town on Wednesday, accompanied by his sons Jacob, 11, and Joseph, 10, who handed out bookmarks to lobbyists and lawmakers trekking along the bridge connecting the Capitol with the Knott Building, prime real estate according to the Clay County systems librarian.

Clark said he positioned himself at the top of the long hallway so that he’d be in plain sight as budget conferees made the long walk down the bridge as they headed into meetings during the harried final days of the 2010 session. And he stood at the opposite end when the meetings were over.

“You have to be noticed. You’ve got to be approachable, but you have to know your facts,” Clark said. That shows lawmakers “you’re not a total nut case.”

With a $3.8 billion budget deficit, there’s no money in the Senate spending plan for libraries right now, and Clark won’t be around to plead with lawmakers to put it in. He used up all his vacation time last year and has to (apologies to Gov. Rick Scott) get back to work.

Wednesday morning, Clark met briefly with Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, a visit he’s been trying to nail down for months, he said.

Carroll expressed a great deal of interest in his fact sheet, Clark said, giving him hope that libraries may not be forgotten this year, even in his absence.

UPDATE: SunPass users to keep their discount

Friday, April 8th, 2011 by Dara Kam

SunPass users can breathe a sigh of relief. Senate President Mike Haridopolos said lawmakers won’t take away the discounts on toll roads, reversing what the Senate did yesterday.

“The discount stays. Period,” Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, told reporters during his weekly Q-and-A this morning.

The Senate had scrapped the SunPass discounts, which vary on different toll roads, as part of its plan to merge some of the state’s turnpike authorities.

Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, tried to amend the bill to keep the discounts intact but Haridopolos ruled on a voice vote that Norman’s amendment lacked the two-thirds majority to pass.

Critics said that doing away with the discounts could be considered a tax increase, a potential no-no for conservative Republicans, including U.S. Senate candidates like Haridopolos.

“That is something where there is a legitimate debate going on. Is that a discount or not? How will that be described?” Haridopolos.

Haridopolos said he told Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander, who backed the proposal because it would add back about $100 million to the transportation budget that could be bonded to create up to $1 billion in road projects, it’s off the table.

Haridopolos changed his mind within 12 hours of the vote yesterday after talking with other senators and “after taking my opinion,” he said.

“As I got more engaged I thought the discount’s a good idea. I think it encourages people to purchase the pass, to use the pass and that helps with traffic flow across the state,” Haridopolos said.

Haridopolos said the debate could make SunPass buyers more aware that they get the discount and the ability to fly through toll plazas.

“I’ve let it be known that we will not be adjusting those. The discounts will stay in place. We think that especially as you commute across the state of Florida the best thing to do is to keep those discounts in place,” he said.

Senate does away with SunPass discount

Thursday, April 7th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Motorists could say bye-bye to the 25 cent savings they typically get when use the SunPass card to speed through Florida toll exchanges.

The Senate approved a bill (SB 2152) merging the state’s turnpike authorities that includes an end to the 5% SunPass discount over the objections of several Republicans.

“We should not raise the fees. Keep our word,” argued Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, who tried to amend the bill to take out the elimination of the discount.

Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander argued that the discount began when SunPass was created to ease back-ups at toll booths. Since then, SunPass users enjoy special lanes they can zip through without even slowing down, Alexander said.

Doing away with the discount would add $100 million to the state’s transportation budget, which translates into $1 billion worth of projects if bonded.

“For me I think that’s worthwhile doing,” Alexander, R-Lake Wales, said.

Norman’s amendment died on a voice vote, and the bill passed by a 28-11 vote.

Senate approves water management takeover

Thursday, April 7th, 2011 by Dara Kam

With no debate or discussion, the Florida Senate overwhelmingly approved a legislative take-over of the state’s five water management districts.

The measure (2142) is the brain-child of Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales. Although lawmakers set the maximum amount of property taxes the districts are allowed to levy, the governor, who appoints the district members, has the ultimate say over how they spend it.

That’s not fair, Alexander said. He wants the legislature to have more financial oversight of the districts. The South Florida Water Management District got into hot water several years ago for lavish spending.

Only three Senators voted against the measure: Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich of Weston and GOP Sens. Thad Altman of Melbourne and Paula Dockery of Lakeland.

Senate passes $70 billion budget

Thursday, April 7th, 2011 by Dara Kam

The Florida Senate approved its $69.8 billion spending plan by a 33-6 vote after spending about an hour politely debating its pros and cons.

Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander acknowledged the plan is tough on state workers, who would be required to contribute between 2 and 6 percent to their pensions.

“We are asking a lot from our state employees. It has been a while since folks have had raises. I get that. But I also know in my district virtually every business has had layoffs…Many businesses have closed. Many businesses have struggled to remain open,” Alexander, R-Lake Wales, said, adding that he hoped his budget would prevent lawmakers from having to make future cuts to state workers.

“One of the biggest pressures we have in our job is when we’re insecure about our future,” he said. He said he hopes the plan gives workers “a reasonable confidence…that we will not be continuing to add to that burden going forward.”

According to Sen. Don Gaetz, lawmakers could either sign off on the nearly $4 billion spending cuts in the budget or raise taxes.

But Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich of Weston said lawmakers had not even attempted to close tax loopholes that could have pumped billions back into spending on health care for the poor, frail and elderly.

“In the long run, I really believe this budget is being balanced on the backs of our public employees, state workers and our working families,” Rich said. Closing loopholes are not tax increases. Nobody’s standing up here and urging a tax increase.
What I am urging is fairness in our tax structure so we don’t constantly put the emphasis on those who have the least and give to those who have the most.”

UPDATE: Scott OKs last-minute bailout for courts

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 by Dara Kam

UPDATE: Gov. Scott approved a $19,487,027 loan to tide the courts over until the end of May. The loan must repaid by the end of June.

Gov. Rick Scott signed off on a loan to state courts to fill a budget shortfall that would have resulted in two-week furloughs.

Scott waited until the last minute to approve the bailout. Palm Beach County’s chief judge Peter Blanc said Scott needed to approve the loan by Friday to prevent the furloughs. The budget deficit was caused by a drop in the number of foreclosure filings, fees from which make up the bulk of the court’s spending.

Scott and Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady reached an agreement this morning, according to a press release issued by the court’s spokesman Craig Waters, to keep the courts running through the end of May.

The courts needed $72.3 million in emergency funds to keep operating through the June 30 end of the budget year. Scott had previously agreed to shift $14 million from court-related funds to pay for day-to-day operating expenses, but that is only enough to keep the courts functioning only through April 30.

Details of the amount and conditions of the loan were not immediately available, but the courts will cover the remaining shortfall through a “supplemental appropriation” not included in Canady’s original request of Scott, according to the release.

Scott’s tax cuts fall flat with lawmakers

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Both the House and Senate have so far rejected Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed tax cuts for businesses and homeowners.

Budget chiefs in both chambers, who released their initial spending plans this week, said they just can’t find a way to cut tax collections while they’ve got $3.8 billion less to spend than last year.

“We don’t have it in the budget,” said House budget chair Denise Grimsley, R-Lake Placid, moments after her appropriations committee approved a stark, $66.5 billion on a party-line vote. “We’d like to do them (tax cuts). But we just don’t have the money right now.”

The Senate plan doesn’t have them either, at least “at this point,” Senate President Mike Haridopolos said.

Haridopolos indicated it would be hard to justify tax cuts at a time when lawmakers are handing pink slips to state workers.

“At this point we’re focused on cutting spending first,” Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, said. “I think sometimes people look at this very conservative legislature like we enjoy cutting. I mean, these are tough calls. These are tough decisions. There’s a lot of people that are going to lose their jobs. Anybody who says this is with glee or we’re enjoying these cuts, far from it.”

Cannon finds some extra cash for schools, courts

Thursday, March 24th, 2011 by John Kennedy

A day after House budget committees squawked about how paltry allocations from Speaker Dean Cannon were forcing  deep program chopping, the Winter Park Republican reshuffled the books.

Cannon found another $75 million to scatter among schools, higher education and the justice budget panels –maybe easing back on some of the axe-wielding. Cannon said he and House budget chair Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, decided to distribute the legislative lagniappe after seeing how budget subcommittees had done the right thing and focused on statewide spending issues.

On Wednesday, Justice Appropriations Chair Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City, bemoaned the cutting his panel was doing.

Wholesale spending cuts would eliminate one-quarter of the state’s more than 2,800 judicial assistants, leaving judges to do much of their own research, scheduling and brief-writing, to save $13.6 million. Judicial salaries also would be scaled-back, letting the state pocket another $11.4 million.

Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, said the proposed cuts threatened the legal rights of Floridians.

“We are going to wind up with an umpire who can’t see the strike zone,” Grant said of the burden also being put on judges.

Senate school cuts not so deep after all

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 by Dara Kam

Cuts to public school funding won’t be nearly as bad as it appeared earlier this week under the Florida Senate plan, budget chief J.D. Alexander said Wednesday morning.

That’s because the spending allocations released this week don’t include about another $1 billion in savings Alexander said he’s making in state employees,’ including teachers’, pay and benefits.

It appears he’s funneling nearly half that to schools, bringing down the cuts to about $300 million from more than $700 proposed earlier this week, Alexander said. That’s the opposite direction the House is headed in with its K-12 spending plan.

“It depends on your view of the world, but in terms of what a school board will have to do to adjust to available funds, our proposal has a much lower broad cut. I think the $700 million was too high,” Alexander, R-Lake Wales, said.

Without being able to raise new revenue through taxes or fees, Alexander said the savings from cutting health care benefits or requiring state employees to contribute to their pensions is the only way to avoid deeper direct cuts to services and education.

Under Alexander’s plan, state workers would have to contribute less to their pensions than the 5% Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida House are asking.

Just how much?

All will be revealed Monday when Alexander releases his budget proposal.

Scott likes government, if it pays off

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 by John Kennedy

Gov. Rick Scott, repeating his pledge to be the “jobs governor,” gave a pep talk Tuesday to tourism officials gathered in Tallahassee, offering some numbers behind the industry’s role in helping Florida’s economic recovery.

Scott said the state hosted 82 million visitors last year.  And he’d like to see that number climb to 90 million this year.

“I’m told that every 85 visitors brings another job to Florida,” Scott said.

But Scott apparently doesn’t believe everything he hears.

When Rick Gonzalez, president of West Palm Beach’s REG Architects, asked the Republican governor about his commitment to steering state cash toward supporting historic preservation as a jobs driver, Scott paused. Gonzalez said a University of Florida study showed historic preservation created 111,509 jobs in Florida during 2007-08, while also adding $3.8 billion in gross state product.

“I’ve never seen that study,” Scott said. “If there’s a return on historic preservation, I’ll look at it. But I’ve not seen that study.”

Scott said his approach to government pivots on supporting programs that will provide a financial return on the state’s investment. He didn’t draw distinctions between health and human services programs, which are generally money-losers.

But Scott said, “I want everything we spend money on to have a return. I’ve been in business all my life, and it’s easy to get capital if you can get a return.”

Senate HHS budget a high-wire act, no nets

Monday, March 21st, 2011 by John Kennedy

A stark state spending plan, flush with red ink, began taking shape Monday in the state Senate, with school dollars sliced 6.5 percent and a health care proposal on track to save $1 billion in Medicaid spending, much of it from program cuts.

Health and Human Services budget chairman Joe Negron, R-Stuart, praised the Senate’s $28 billion for maintaining spending on some key program, including funding for homeless, AIDS drug assistance, and the state’s KidCare and Healthy Start insurance programs.

But he acknowledged the Senate — like the House — is ready to recast Medicaid, putting almost 3 million Floridians into managed care programs to trim costs, while also cutting services.

“We’ve heard that the current system is irretrievably broken, so we’re starting a new system,” Negron said. 

A Medicaid pilot program operating in five counties since 2006, including Broward, has been derided as a failure by many critics. But Negron said the new program will look nothing like the pilot program and will not drive frustrated patients to use hospital emergency rooms — one of the costliest venues for care.

But the Senate is banking heavily on its high-wire reform effort. In the budget unveiled Monday, hospitals would lose 10 percent of state funding for treating both in- and outpatient Medicaid recipients — cutting $450 million from the budget. 

 The Medically Needy program, an optional program long paid by the state and federal governments, would be sharply scaled back to save $230 million under the Senate budget — eliminating financial help given transplant patients and other hard-to-insure Floridians.

School funding, meanwhile, would drop 6.5 percent under the Senate plan. In the good-cop, bad-cop approach of budgeters, that’s still the mildest slice: The House has recommended a 7.7 percent per-pupil reduction, while Gov. Rick Scott called for a 10 percent drop.

Senate hikes schools cuts

Monday, March 21st, 2011 by Dara Kam

From The Orlando Sentinel’s Aaron Deslatte:

TALLAHASSEE — Last week, Senate PreK-12 Education Budget Chairman David Simmons said the chamber’s classroom spending plan was essentially break-even for school districts.

That is, per-pupil student funding wouldn’t see much of a cut, at all.

But on Monday, Simmons reported back to his committee with fresh marching orders from Senate Budget Chairman J.D. Alexander, and the new budget math adds up to a $6.5 percent cut for classrooms, equal to about $1 billion.

That’s much closer to the 10 percent cut recommended by Gov. Rick Scott last month.

Sort of. (more…)

Cannon allocates cash — and some promises

Monday, March 21st, 2011 by John Kennedy

Just hours before Senate budget panels begin work Monday afternoon, House Speaker Dean Cannon did his own bit of budget calculus — unveiling the amount of taxpayer cash he’s allocated to each of the state’s big spending categories.

As usual, education is getting the biggest share of dollars, $8.2 billion for public schools, alone. Close behind is Heath and Human Services, drawing $7.1 billion in general revenue, even as both the House and Senate look to trim future costs with a sweeping overhaul of the Medicaid program.

In outlining the spending in a memo to fellow lawmakers, Cannon also made some commitments. (more…)

Budget deficit could grow by more than $300 million

Friday, March 18th, 2011 by Dara Kam

State economists are hashing out their new estimate of how much less money lawmakers have to spend this year.

Their last general revenue estimate projected the state would collect about $3.6 billion less this year in taxes and fees than last. But this morning’s estimates range from an additional $332.4 million drop – bringing the deficit to $3.9 billion – to a gain of $47.4 million that would decrease the spending gap to closer to $3.5 billion.

The three groups of economists representing the legislature’s Bureau of Economic and Demographic Research, Gov. Rick Scott and the Department of Revenue will crunch numbers throughout the day.

EDR’s initial $332.4 million in additional lost income is the highest. Scott’s office projects an extra $109.7 million drop. And the department’s was the rosiest – a gain of $47.4 million.

The average of the three – $131.6 million – would bump up the deficit to $3.75 billion.

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