Cheery predictions that the Legislature would get done on time might have come too early, reports the News Service of Florida. Budget negotiators are making “slow but steady progress,” House Speaker Dean Cannon said Monday night, almost 24 hours after the last public meeting between Senate Budget Chairman J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, and House Appropriations Chairwoman Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring. A budget deal would need to be finished by sometime Tuesday to satisfy a rule requiring lawmakers to have 72 hours to consider the bill before taking a vote and still finish up the session on Friday. “It’s going to be a photo finish,” Cannon said. As a potential sign of the seriousness of the impasse, which appears to revolve around the budget for health and human services, the speaker also laid out how he would prefer to deal with an extension — saying lawmakers might meet on Saturday if only one day was needed but wait until next week if the negotiations take longer. “My preference would be, certainly, finish on time would be the first option. A one-day extension would be the second (preference), and then if you have to go further than that, then we’ll deal with it,” he said. Some senators have said Cannon is tying the budget negotiations to getting the court bill, which is his top priority of the session ?but the Senate appeared set to strip the Supreme Court split from the bill on Monday evening.
Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.