No budget talks during holiday break, says Sen. Prez Gaetz

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Since Florida lawmakers will be taking next week off for Passover and Easter, final budget talks will not resume until lawmakers return to Tallahassee, Senate President Don Gaetz said on Wednesday.

“During the week off we don’t want to have conferences going on,” Gaetz told reporters after a speech at the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s International Days at Florida State University. “Every representative and every senator ought to have the opportunity to keep an eye on things they’re interested in. And they can’t do that back home.”

Appropriations committee schedules will be available sometime by the end of the next week, Gaetz added.

When legislators return, they will begin to resolve the $75.3 billion House budget with the Senate’s $74.9 billion plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The budget put forth by each chamber exceeds the $74.2 billion plan coming from Gov. Rick Scott.

The 2014 legislative session ends May 2, so a final budget must be submitted no later than April 29, because of the mandatory 72-hour review period.

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.