Gov. DeSantis praised lawmakers for exceeding his request for spending on environmental projects and for a boost in per-student funding in public schools, though as FlaglerLive previously reported, that funding increase is not necessarily what it seems.
The more than $300 million in vetoes are to make up for money restored to Visit Florida, economic development, and a bump in per-student funding.
Florida lawmakers will hold a special session next week after Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders announced Friday they have reached the outline of a budget deal.
Millions of dollars through numerous Flagler-bound appropriations could potentially be vetoed as Gov. Scott today received the state’s budget, and will soon decide what stays and what goes.
TaxWatch flagged 111 budget items as turkeys, among them a Bunnell road project, though the organization stresses that it isn’t making a value judgment.
The budget package includes a modest increase in per-student spending through the state’s main education formula, $521 million in Medicaid cuts for hospitals and far-reaching changes to education across the board.
Lawmakers pushed back against the idea that a deal that many believed had been sealed Tuesday had fallen apart, while House leaders placed tax cuts ahead of more money for per-student allocations.
The $2 billion spending gap provides fresh reasons for skepticism that lawmakers will complete a spending plan by the scheduled May 5 end of the legislative session.
Scott’s $2.8 billion surplus estimate makes some unlikely assumptions about how lawmakers will act when they return to the Capitol for the legislative session that begins March 7.
State economists Monday shaved nearly $270 million off their estimate of what lawmakers will have to work with in next year’s budget process, even as election-year calls for extra spending continue and as a threat looms of a Zika hit to Florida’s economy.