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2016 budget conference

Budget writers settle up on school construction funding

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A key budget committee met for the second time on Sunday and hashed out previously unresolved conflicts on education funding, including some $700 million in cash and bonding for construction for K-12 and higher education institutions. The inclusion of money from bonds is something Gov. Rick Scott – a budget hawk who loathes debt – opposes.  But Conference Committee Chair Rep. Richard Corcoran said it just makes sense. “Any time you have rates that are this low, you’re getting money for much cheaper, ”…

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Justice budget writers closing out differences; House, Senate $3.5 million apart

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Legislative budget writers moved the needle during their second conference meeting Saturday night, narrowing the discrepancies between House and Senate proposals to just $3.5 million dollars, about 0.1 percent of the $4.1 billion proposed criminal and civil justice budget. This time it was the Senate’s turn to make an offer, and committee Vice Chairman Sen. Joe Negron took the House’s position on a number of priorities and modified its position on several others. The Senate amended its proposal to mirror the House’s…

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Budget conferees begin weekend of negotiations

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House and Senate budget writers met Friday night to organize the 2016 Budget Conference process. They plan to meet through the weekend as they negotiate how to reconcile the $1 billion gulf between their spending plans as they allocate taxpayers’ money to keep Florida’s government running. Rep. Richard Corcoran, House budget chief, said after the meeting that the Florida Enterprise fund – money to be used to attract jobs to the state and a major priority of Gov. Rick Scott –…

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