redistricting plan

Florida Legislative Session Ends

Jim Rogers Florida, Legislative

Florida lawmakers passed a record $112.1-billion budget Monday to end a legislative session dominated by fierce debates about issues such as education, abortion and immigration.

The election-year spending plan was pumped up by federal stimulus money and higher-than-expected state tax collections. It funnels money to many issues, including higher funding for public schools and pay raises for state employees. The budget is a 10.4 percent increase from the budget approved for the current year.

Florida Legislative Session

Here is State Senator Kelli Stargel, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Florida Legislative Session Ends

“We have built a budget that has a strong foundation, one that focuses on key investments and significant reserves. This budget sets Florida on a responsible path forward, one that leaves our state well-prepared to address future challenges while also investing in our state needs.”

The Senate voted 33-0 to pass the budget, while the House backed it in a 105-3 vote. The dissenters were Rep. Michael Grieco, D-Miami Beach, Rep. Dotie Joseph, D-North Miami, and Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills. DeSantis has line-item veto power, with the budget slated to take effect July 1.

Sen. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, said when people look back at the session, they will see substantial tax cuts, increased parental choice and improvements to the environment, which are popular issues with his constituents.

“We spent more on clean water projects this session than we ever have,” Rodrigues said. “The number one issue in my district, by the way, is water quality. I can go back and show them great work we’ve done.”

Source: The News Service of Florida