Agreement on transportation, re-organization and growth

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The House-Senate conference committee overseeing the transportation and economic development portion of the budget agreed on all but a handful of issues that will be bumped to leadership beginning this weekend, reports the News Service of Florida. At the same time, the two chambers struck a deal on a massive growth management bill, angering environmental advocates and at least one lawmaker. The House asked for the growth management measure to be considered as part of the conference deal last night; the Senate countered with a slate of amendments. When House members balked at three of those changes, the Senate threatened to bump the entire transportation and economic development portion of the budget before House members agreed to tweak the biggest outstanding amendment and accept it. But Sen. Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, criticized the decision to handle that bill in the context of budget discussions. “I’m not happy about the way this has been done,” Latvala said after the agreement was reached. But the head of the conference committee, Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, defended the agreement on growth management. “I would believe that any of these matters, if they were separate bills, would pass the Senate,” Gaetz said.

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