FL Lawmakers Pass New Budget

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Florida legislators are sending to Gov. Rick Scott a more than $82.3 billion budget that includes a slight boost in money for schools but also rejects many of the governor’s top priorities.

The Florida House voted 119-1 for the bill, while the vote in the Senate was unanimous.

The strong bipartisan support for the budget was a departure from past years, when Democrats criticized the annual budget.

The new spending plan (HB 5001) is roughly 5 percent larger than last year’s budget.

It includes more than $700 million for school construction and increases overall school spending by about one percent.

Legislators forged a budget that ignored much of what the Republican governor wanted, including his bid for a $250 million fund to lure new companies to the state.

They did agree to do some tax cuts, but not anywhere near what Scott had proposed.