Despite budget differences, Kathleen Passidomo remains optimistic Session will end on time
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 11/22/22-Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, speaks during Organizational Session, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

'We’re going to do our darndest and I feel pretty good about it.'

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo remains optimistic an agreed-to budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24 will be on legislators’ desks by Tuesday so the 2023 Legislative Session can adjourn on time.

As of Friday afternoon, none of the funding silos had been completely agreed to. While Tourism and Economic Development (TED) budget conferees came to an agreement to not kill the VISIT FLORIDA, the tourism arm for the state, TED budget conferees agreed to bump unresolved differences in proviso language to House Appropriations Committee Chair Tom Leek and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Doug Broxson to resolve.

Also, House and Senate Health care budget conferees on Thursday agreed to bump large portions of the health and human services budget — the largest section of the General Appropriations Act — to the committee Chairs to try to resolve. That committee bumped differences in spending, budget proviso, implementing bills and conforming bills.

The health and human services section of the budget is the largest of all the spending silos, with more than $15 billion in recurring general revenue being dedicated to six different agencies: the Agency for Health Care Administration; the Agency for Persons with Disabilities; the Department of Health; the Department of Children and Families; the Department of Elder Affairs; and the Department of Elder Affairs.

In addition to differences on pediatric care spending, the chambers also have opposing views on the future of the Casey DeSantis Cancer Research Program, the level of funding and what academic centers can qualify for the program.

Other major issues left unresolved include how much to spend on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal for $7 billion to ramp up road projects throughout the state; how much to spend on projects to guard against sea-level rise (the House prefers $300 million while the Senate has offered $179 million); and spending on cleaning up the Indian River Lagoon (the House wants $100 million and the Senate prefers $50 million).

Nevertheless, Passidomo told reporters Friday afternoon the Legislature is in “great shape” and she anticipates the differences between the chambers’ proposed spending plans would be hammered out over the weekend, which gives legislative staff time to proofread the document for any mistakes and then have it published.

“Absolutely,” Passidomo said when asked whether the budget will be on lawmakers’ desks on Tuesday so it can cool off for the mandated 72 hours before it can receive a vote. “We’re going to do our darndest and I feel pretty good about it. I really do.”

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


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