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House, Senate release proposed spending plans

The Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the budget on Wednesday. 

About $400 million separates the initial House and Senate proposed budgets.

The House late Thursday night unveiled an $89.9 billion budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The Senate on Friday published a $90.3 billion spending plan.

The Senate’s budget includes about $1.8 billion for Hurricane Michael relief, as well as a $1.1 billion increase to the Florida Education Finance Program, a school district operating funding source.

House Speaker José Oliva told reporters after a floor session on Thursday that he wants per-capita spending to be lower than it is during the current fiscal year. It’s now “around the $4,800 [per-person] range,” he said.

“The overall goal is to be below what we spent last year per resident,” Oliva said. “How much of that? The more the better obviously in our opinion, but that’s the goal we set for ourselves.”

Last year, the Legislature passed and then-Gov. Rick Scott signed into law an $88.7 billion budget.

The Legislature as a whole is shaping up to deliberate a much smaller spending plan than what Gov. Ron DeSantis has recommended. The Governor’s first proposed budget totals $91.3 billion.

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the budget on Wednesday. The Senate budget panel also will meet Wednesday.

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