Budget negotiators face $7.8m gap over transportation, economic development issues

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Florida budget leaders Saturday were still grappling with a $7.8 million funding difference on ‘bump’ issues that impact transportation, tourism and economic development.

The House and Senate met Saturday night in conference, revealing a $6 million funding gap on Department of Transportation-related items and a $9 million difference on economic opportunity projects.

The House and Senate have reached a compromise over funding for Visit Florida though, which has been an annual fight between Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature.

This year, the Legislature has agreed to fund it at $76 million even though Scott initially requested $100 million for the mostly taxpayer-funded tourism marketing agency.

When asked why it was not set at the amount the governor wants, Trujillo said money has been moved around to pay for school safety initiatives in wake of the Parkland mass school shooting.

“I think the governor will be the first to tell you that post-Parkland we have had to sacrifice priorities,” Trujillo said.

Ana Ceballos

Ana covers politics and policy Before joining the News Service of Florida she wrote for the Naples Daily News and was the legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press and covered policy issues impacting immigration, the environment, criminal justice and social welfare in Florida. She holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University. After graduating in 2014, she worked as a criminal justice reporter for the Monterey Herald and the Monterey County Weekly. She has also freelanced for The Washington Post at the U.S.-Mexico border covering crime in the border city of Tijuana, where she grew up. Ana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.



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