Legislature finishes budget negotiations, approval to come Monday
TALLAHASSEE -- Behind schedule and late in the evening, House and Senate negotiators agreed Thursday to an $83 billion spending plan for the year that begins July 1, setting up a delayed end to the legislative session.
The agreement provides for a modest increase in the main state formula for funding public education, cuts payments to hospitals by more than $500 million, and provides a raise to state employees for the first time since 2013.
It also closes out an arduous, weeks-long negotiation between the two chambers that has already pushed them into overtime — a final vote on the spending plan will come Monday, three days after the annual legislative session was supposed to end.
The state Constitution requires a 72-hour “cooling off” period before any agreement between the House and Senate can be approved.