The heady occasions of state coffers being flush with cash from hovering revenues boosted by inflation and federal infusions of COVID-19-era stimulus gained’t final eternally.

That was the message despatched by the Legislature because the Home and Senate superior budgets that may spend between $1 billion and $1.5 billion lower than the present spending plan.

“It’s (Home Speaker Paul Renner’s) purpose and my purpose to ship an austere funds that places us in a very good place for 3 to 5 years down the highway,” mentioned Home funds chief Tom Leek, an Ormond Seaside Republican, whereas explaining the spending minimize. “It’s a recognition that revenues, whereas nonetheless climbing, should not climbing on the tempo that they had been climbing earlier than.”

The Home funds would spend $115.5 billion, or $1.5 billion lower than the present funds, whereas the Senate plan would spend $116 billion, or $1 billion lower than the present funds. Every funds (SB 2500, PCB APC 24-01) handed unanimously out of the chambers’ respective Appropriations Committees.

The chambers are shut in some areas of the funds, similar to pre-Ok-12 training, the place the Home prefers to spend $28.4 billion, whereas the Senate is available in about $100 million much less.

The Home and Senate plans each come out to about $8,937 per scholar, or $218 greater than the present 12 months. However every chamber handles the rise in funds otherwise, with the Home setting apart $1.25 billion to hike instructor pay, a rise of $202 million on the present 12 months, whereas the Senate places extra funding into the bottom funding for faculties as a way of accelerating instructor salaries.

In well being care, one of many main sticking factors is prone to be funding for the Reside Wholesome Act. That’s a high precedence for Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, a Naples Republican, that has already handed the Senate. The invoice consists of $796 million to increase applications geared toward producing extra medical professionals within the state to deal with well being care employee wants.

Every chamber is predicted to cross their funds off the ground subsequent week, setting the stage for formal negotiations for the ultimate spending plan for the fiscal 12 months that begins July 1. An settlement should be reached by March 6 to satisfy the constitutionally required 72-hour “cooling off” interval earlier than lawmakers can vote on the funds to finish the Common Session on time.

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