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Fla. House approves $74 billion budget

Florida Budget
Posted at 5:31 PM, Apr 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-12 17:31:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Legislature is heading into final negotiations on a new $74 billion budget.

The Florida House voted 99-17 Friday on its spending plan. The Florida Senate passed its rival budget earlier this week.

Unlike recent years legislators have a budget surplus to work with.

Lawmakers have until early May to reach a deal. The new budget will cover spending from July 2013 until June 2014.

There are differences between the two spending plans. The House, for example, has proposed a six percent tuition hike.

The Senate and House also differ on pay raises for state employees.

The Senate has proposed a three percent across the board raise. But the House is offering a $1,000 a year increase as well as a $400 bonus based on merit.