Tallahassee, FL – Florida lawmakers are expected to vote Saturday afternoon on a $91.1 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The budget was distributed at 1:32 p.m. Wednesday, triggering the start of a constitutionally required 72-hour “cooling off” period before the House and Senate can vote on it. That will force lawmakers to extend the annual legislative session, which was scheduled to end Friday.
House and Senate negotiators finalized details of the spending plan Tuesday night, but House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, said it took time to compile and complete the 448-page budget. “The final details are always very difficult, and the staff works diligently, but there’s just so many details to cover,” Oliva said early Wednesday morning after a floor session.
Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, told senators Wednesday that he expected a vote Saturday before ending the session — known as adjourning “sine die” in the Capitol. “With a conversation that I had with the speaker, we believe that if we can come back on Saturday and finish our business and sine die, that is going to be the most efficient use of our time,” Galvano said.
The overall $91.1 billion total is slightly less than a $91.3 billion plan proposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. It is higher than the House’s initial $89.9 billion budget proposal and the Senate’s $90.3 billion proposal.