Fourth Week of Session - March 23-27
Budget and tax cut proposals took center stage this week. Both
the House and the Senate passed their versions of the next state budget out of
their respective appropriations committees.
The spending plans will now go to the floor. Learn where lawmakers are
suggesting to spend your money and discover the $4 billion difference between
the two proposals in the latest Florida TaxWatch Budget Watch.
The House budget totals $76.154 billion and the Senate
budget comes in at $80.425 billion—which would be the largest budget in
history. The House proposal is $826
(1.1 percent) million less than the Governor’s recommended budget and $919
million (1.2 percent) less than current year spending. The Senate budget would be a 4.3 percent
increase over current year spending.
Despite the big difference in budget totals, the two chambers are fairly
close in many areas. The higher Senate budget is due to a proposed increase in
federal dollars being drawn down through its alternative to Medicaid
expansion. In fact, the Senate spends
$229 million in general revenue less than the House. For more information on the two budget see
the new Florida TaxWatch Budget Watch.
The House also released its $690 million tax cut
package. The centerpiece of the proposal
is a $470.5 million reduction in the communications services tax. The rest is a patchwork of many different tax
cuts some of them very small and many that had not been part of any legislation
so far this session. The Senate does not
plan to release its tax proposal until some of the budget issues, especially in
health care, are sorted out. See the full house proposal.
For more information on any of these issues, please feel free to contact our Research staff by emailing Stephani Meyers, Research Assistant.