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.