At the 11th Hour, House and Senate Agree on a $90 Billion 2019 Budget
Submitted by Nancy Smith on May 1, 2019 - 2:50am
Reaching a $90 billion budget deal late Tuesday night, the House and Senate look likely to finish the 2019 Florida legislative session on its 60th and final scheduled day.
The state Constitution mandates the budget be published and made available to lawmakers 72 hours before a final vote by both chambers can occur.
The budget chairs, Sen. Rob Bradley and Rep. Travis Cummings, both Fleming Island Republicans, signed-off on a spending plan that included hundreds of millions of dollars for education building projects, health-care programs and environmental initiatives. Those initiatives included $322.6 million for Lake Okeechobee restoration, $100 million for Florida springs and a late addition of $30.7 million to finance more than 65 water and sewer projects around the state.
Though Gov. Ron DeSantis got most of the items on his wish list, he saw the $76 million he wanted for Visit Florida trimmed to $50 million, and the $85 million he requested for a Job Growth Fund cut to $40 million. And, while the governor wanted $100 million for Florida Forever, the state's land-buying program, the Legislature agreed to only $33 million. Lawmakers reasoned last year's Florida Forever money still hasn't been spent.