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Everybody’s working over the weekend, really

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Legislative leaders on Friday said the House and Senate budget chairs would continue to work over the weekend in order to bring the General Appropriations Act in for a landing.

The goal is for a copy of the budget to be on lawmakers’ desks by Tuesday so they can wait the mandated 72 hours before voting on the bill. Friday was the initial deadline for state Sen. Tom Lee and state Rep. Richard Corcoran to “bump” any unresolved issue to Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli to resolve.

But in a joint release Gardiner and Crisafulli said that the budget chiefs had made tremendous progress and that they would continue to meet over the weekend to hammer out unresolved issues.

“We anticipate one more meeting this evening (Friday) as well as meetings on Saturday and Sunday,” the leaders said in a joint statement. “We look forward to using this last week of the Special Session to finalize a balanced budget and deliver broad-based tax reform legislation. We look forward to an on-time finish.”

Amendment 1 funding remains unresolved, though Crisafulli said the House has agreed to no bonding.  The Education and Tourism and Economic Development budgets are proving problematic, also.  Progress has been made in Criminal and Civil Justice as well as Health and Human Services. A “linchpin” of the budget, the Low Income Pool, was resolved early Friday.

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