New Florida Legislators May Get A Jump Start

Declining state revenues and a sour economy may soon be putting Florida’s newest lawmakers to the test. This because the state’s mounting financial woes could result in a special session on the budget.

Newly elected lawmakers were in Tallahassee Wednesday, to tackle some big issues. Thirty-four freshman house members took a guided tour of the capitol and some needed help finding their office.

Representative Lake Ray says he’s ready to take on the major issues, but knows he still has some catching up to do, “I’ve been saying it’s a little bit like the dog catching the car. Now what do you do with it.”

Declining home sales and sagging tax collections are expected to cause a billion dollar budget hole before the month is out.
While the freshman finished up their tour, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink made this plea, “we cannot wait until next March to deal with this year’s, this fiscal year’s, financial issues."

With the possibility of a special session looming the freshman lawmakers could be put to the test sooner than expected. Incoming Speaker of the House Ray Sansom says the new legislators are ready to go to work on the budget, but says it’s probably better to wait until March. He said, “it takes a little time to organize and get everyone prepared for any decisions that we make about the budget."

Sansom says the state should borrow more trust fund dollars to balance the budget instead of calling a special session.

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