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Legislative Updates
Lawmakers hit midpoint, budget work dominates
Thursday, 18 February 2016
Tallahassee – As the legislature’s annual 60-day session hit its midpoint last Wednesday, lawmakers in both the House and Senate devoted much of their time to finalizing and passing each chamber’s version of a proposed spending plan for state government for the coming fiscal year. They are now in a posture to begin meeting in conference committees as early as next week as they work to resolve differences in the two plans.

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Budget discussions dominate legislature’s week
Sunday, 07 February 2016
Tallahassee – Nearing the mid-point of their annual lawmaking session, lawmakers spend much of their fourth session week readying both the House and Senate versions of each chamber’s state government spending plans. Passing a balanced budget is the only task mandated by the state’s constitution that the Legislature must accomplish before adjourning. Traditionally budget agreements – or perhaps more notably disagreements – occupy most of the closing weeks of the Legislature’s work as a joint Senate-House conference committee works out differences and decides on a final budget for Florida state government’s budget for next fiscal year. 
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Early state budget plans unveiled during lawmakers third week
Tuesday, 02 February 2016
Tallahassee – Lawmakers spent much of their third week of their regular session working largely at the committee level, listening to public testimony and readying proposed legislation for consideration by full committees before ultimately heading to the floor of each chamber. Both the House and Senate also unveiled the earliest drafts of their budget proposals on Friday. Currently the two spending plans, each topping the $80-billion mark, differ by about $1-billion. Lawmakers will devote much of their time in the coming weeks working through the differences. Agreement on a balanced budget is the only mandated task legislators must complete each year during their 60-day session, ideally before their scheduled adjournment this year on March 11.
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State lawmakers buckle-down
Monday, 25 January 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016, Tallahassee – With their opening week festivities now in the rearview mirror, legislators got back to the business of lawmaking this week, sorting through the field of both individual member and committee bills and readying the potentially strongest survivors for a final trek to the floors of both the House and Senate.  Two bills passed by both houses during their first week of work quickly received the Governor’s nod of approval. Both measures, a comprehensive rewrite of the state’s water policy, plus legislation offering new educational and employment opportunities for the developmentally disabled, were signed into law on Thursday. Water was House Speaker’s Crisafulli’s top priority, while Senate President Gardiner championed the improved opportunities for the disabled.

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Lawmakers Begin Their Earlier-Than-Usual Annual Session
Thursday, 21 January 2016
session sunflower

Tallahassee, Monday, January 18, 2016 – State legislators gathered in Tallahassee last week to being their 60-day regular session last week, two months earlier than their usual spring gathering, promising a more collegial effort than the meltdown that abruptly ended last year’s session. Members’ desks in each chambers were adorned with the usual opening-day floral tributes including the FCA’s traditional sunflower, accompanied by a poem penned by FCA Poet Laureate Sandy Lambert.

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