The 2020 Florida Legislative Session is getting closer to wrapping up, as with only this and next week left, it’s crunch time on finalizing various issues including the budget. According to Mary Ann Hooks, University of Florida/IFAS director of government affairs, committees will be hearing bills this week. So the time to get bills in the proper posture to be heard and potentially passed is slipping away.
As for the budget, Hooks noted there is still some heavy lifting ahead to bring IFAS budget items up to where they need to be. This includes getting their workload funded as well as saving existing programs the House has proposed to cut. Plus, efforts continue to get funding for Florida 4-H Education Center improvements.
With a $1.5 billion gap between the proposed Senate and House bills, budget conferees have much work to do to come to a compromise. The budget needs to be completed by March 10 to allow for the 72-hour “cooling off” period before the session ends March 13.