Florida's $74.5 billion budget ready for final vote

Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and Sen. John Thrasher, R-St Augustine, talk on the floor of the Senate Thursday, April 4, at the Capitol in Tallahassee. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

Published: Monday, April 29, 2013 at 4:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, April 29, 2013 at 4:11 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE — Florida lawmakers are now ready to take a final vote on a proposed $74.5 billion budget.

A final copy of the budget was delivered to all legislators shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday. This means that legislators can vote on it this Thursday. State law requires a 72-hour "cooling off" period before a final vote can be taken.

This means that the session will end on time. The budget is the one bill that legislators must pass during their annual 60-day session.

The budget then goes to Gov. Rick Scott who has the power to eliminate individual spending items from the budget with his veto pen.

The final budget includes pay raises for state workers, sets aside $480 million for a teacher pay raise, and includes a three-percent tuition hike.

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