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Politics

Special Session Agreement: Budget, Health Care, Tax Relief

May 14, 2015 - 6:00pm

The Florida House and Senate reached agreement Friday on the call for a special session, issuing a joint proclamation for the June 1-20 session to complete the Legislature's work on a balanced budget.

At this time, budget allocations have not been agreed to by the Senate president and House speaker, but will be reached before June 1.

The proclamation includes the General Appropriations Act, implementing bill and conforming bills poised for conference during the 2015 regular session. Both chambers will convene June 1 at 1 p.m. to take up these bills, placing themselves in the exact posture in which they left negotiations in April.

The proclamation also includes Senate Bill 7044, the Senates Health Insurance Affordability Exchange Program, the substance of which previously passed the Senate within its Medicaid conforming bill.

The proclamation includes a number of health care initiatives proposed by the House and also gives legislators the opportunity to further consider the tax relief proposals that passed both chambers during the regular session.

Florida will have a balanced budget by June 30, said Senate President Andy Gardiner. Narrowing the set of issues to those outlined in todays proclamation enables us to focus on the critical work before us and to meet our constitutional obligation in the open and transparent manner the people of Florida expect.

Said House Speaker Crisafulli, Id like to thank President Gardiner for his partnership in developing the scope of our work during the upcoming special session. Today is an important milestone. Although we differ on policy approaches regarding health care, the House welcomes the opportunity to have a vigorous debate over the issue. We look forward to working with our Senate partners to craft a balanced budget that supports our schools, our environment and provides tax relief to Floridas hard-working families.

"I am grateful Speaker Crisafulli has agreed to debate the critical health-care challenges facing Florida," said Gardiner. "I look forward to the opportunity to again make the case for the Senates free-market solution to coverage expansion."

An unsigned copy of the joint proclamation, which is now being filed with the secretary of state, is attached.

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