With Deadline Looming, Florida Legislators Start Budget Work

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s Republican legislative leaders are starting their final negotiations on a new state budget after reaching a deal on key details behind closed doors.

Legislators have one week left to wrap up their work on a budget and still end the session on time. The session is scheduled to end on March 9, but state law requires the budget to be finished 72 hours before a final vote.

Sen. Rob Bradley, the Senate budget chairman, said Tuesday that legislators have agreed on how much to spend overall. He also said that the House and Senate have agreed to set aside about $80 million for tax cuts.

The new state budget will also include nearly $400 million that will go to bolster safety at schools and to provide mental health services in schools.