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Florida House and Senate pass vastly different budgets

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The two chambers of the Florida Legislature at odds over a new state budget, and it’s not clear how soon the differences can be worked out.

The Florida House on Thursday voted 86-29 in favor of a nearly $76.2 billion budget. The Florida Senate a day earlier unanimously approved its $80.4 billion spending plan.

Legislators are supposed to finish up work on a new budget by May 1.

The Senate is including billions in federal aid intended to help the state’s hospitals. The Senate budget also draws down money linked to President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul to expand health care coverage to roughly 800,000 Floridians.

Senate Republicans are seeking the federal money because an existing program that assists hospitals is scheduled to expire later this year.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

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