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The 2015 Legislative Session was certainly not a normal one. The session effectively ended three days early when the House unexpectedly declared “sine die” and went home, leaving a lot of work undone and creating more acrimony among lawmakers. Senate Democrats even asked the Supreme Court to compel the House to return, claiming the House’s unilateral adjournment violated the Florida Constitution, with which the Court ultimately agreed on principle, but acknowledged that there was little that could be done about it, as Session was set to end on the day of its ruling regardless.
It was already apparent that the one job the Legislature is required to do, the budget, was not going to get done on time and a special session would be needed. The main reasons for the budget stalemate, Medicaid expansion and federal funding of the Low-Income Pool to reimburse hospitals for indigent care, seemed no closer to a compromise. It was expected lawmakers would finish most of the policy work, but most of the major issues remain unresolved, including many priorities of the two chambers’ leadership.
A final tax cut package was also not passed. While taxes will certainly be part of the budget negotiations in special session, tax cuts are no longer a sure thing this year.