Senate budget allocations “two weeks away

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With House allocations out since last Thursday, Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, said his chamber won’t release its budget allocations for at least a couple of weeks as leaders try to gather more information on budget and revenue issues, especially in the area of social services, reports the News Service of Florida. “We have not put out allocation and it’s for a simple reason,” the Senate president told reporters. “I want some more information from the individual budget chairs before I tell them what they can or can’t spend, especially on health and human services.” Gov. Rick Scott has called for $1 billion more in education funding, a price tag that will likely have to come from health care and social services, the state’s other major funding area. Toward that end, Haridopolos said he’s the chairman of the Senate health and human services budget committee, the time he needs to uncover areas of cost savings. “I’m leaning on (Sen.) Joe Negron a lot to see what can be moved from health and human services,” Haridopolos said. “That is, kind of, our lynchpin for the budget. Once I have that information, I can talk to education and transportation and other chairs to tell them what their allocation will be.”

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.