2016 Session - Week 3
February 8-12, 2016
House and Senate Pass Their Budgets, Conference Negotiations to Follow
The House and Senate both passed their versions of the next state budget this week. The House spending plan totals $79.98 billion. This is $1.58 billion more than current spending and $730 million more than the Governor recommended. The Senate budget totals $80.97 billion, $1 billion more than the House.
After the two chambers’ leaders agree on dollar allocations for the various parts of the budget, conference committee meetings will begin to negotiate the differences.
The House also passed its “$1 billion” tax cut package, which contains Florida TaxWatch recommended provisions including making the sales tax exemption for manufacturing machinery and equipment permanent, reducing the business rent tax and increasing the research and development tax credit.
This week also saw several bills relating to Florida TaxWatch research priorities pass committees, including, pension reform, encouraging pre-arrest diversion programs and other Smart Justice measures, expanding registered nurse and physician assistant scope of practice, promoting telehealth, improving the state’s behavioral health system and several government efficiency bills. Florida TaxWatch appeared before several committees this week, presenting our research on some of these issues.