Legislature Ready To Pass State Budget

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — The Florida Legislature appears poised to give final approval to the state’s $74.5 billion budget and send it to Governor Rick Scott’s desk Friday.

The Legislature has just a few hours left in the 2013 regular session to pass the bill. The regular session ends on Friday.

Flush with cash from the first time in seven years, the budget includes a more than $1 billion for public schools. The budget also includes a pay raise for state workers and money for teacher pay raises.

Legislators did not raise taxes, but they have included in the budget a 3 percent tuition hike for college and university students. Scott has remained steadfastly opposed to tuition hikes.

The budget does not include any federal aid to cover additional people under Medicaid, a key component of the federal health care overhaul.

But lawmakers kept intact a benefit that allows top state officials to pay very little for their own health insurance.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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