By The News Service of Florida
The Florida House and Senate on Friday released proposed budgets for the 2024-2025 fiscal year that top $115 billion — but would be less than the current year’s spending plan.
The Senate proposal (SB 2500) totaled $115.9 billion, while the House proposal (PCB APC 24-01) came in just under $115.55 billion. The budget for the current fiscal year, which started July 1, totaled $119.1 billion. House and Senate leaders have said the 2024-2025 budget will reflect the end of federal money that poured into the state because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the timeline to spend pandemic funds is coming to end, we are making smart, fiscally responsible adjustments and right-sizing our balanced budget to a level sustainable for the long term,” Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, said in a prepared statement Friday.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, said a “pretty tight” budget was ahead as the state moves beyond “never-ending revenues and money coming down from the federal government” during the pandemic.
The proposed budgets released Friday are initial plans and likely will undergo changes before they are passed by the House and Senate. After that, the two chambers will negotiate a final spending plan for the 2024-2025 fiscal year, which will start July 1. The annual legislative session is scheduled to end March 8. Both of the proposals were larger than a $114.4 billion plan that Gov. Ron DeSantis released in December.