Florida budget could focus on teachers & health care

3:16 PM, Mar 3, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) - For the first time in six years state lawmakers aren't grappling with billion dollar shortfalls in the state budget.

Florida legislators are expected to pass a new state budget during the 60-day session that does not call for large spending cuts.

Instead the tug-of-war during the session will likely be over how to spend a modest budget surplus. Another big budget question is whether the state will accept federal aid and expand the Medicaid program to cover more Floridians.

Gov. Rick Scott has proposed a $74.2 billion budget that includes an across-the-board pay raise for teachers as well as bonuses for state workers. Scott also supports the Medicaid expansion which is part of the federal health care overhaul.

Legislative leaders have been reluctant to endorse the teacher pay raise proposal.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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