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Scott Asks Florida Agencies To List Essential, Non-'Controversial' Budget Needs

The Office of Governor Rick Scott

In a move echoing recent congressional budget showdowns, Florida Governor Rick Scott is asking state agency heads how much money is essential to simply keep running.

The information gathering is for next month, when state lawmakers return to Tallahassee to try again at making a budget.

The first stab at crafting a state budget didn’t work. In an extremely rare move last month, the Florida House of Representatives went home early instead of reaching agreement with the Senate over state funding. A special session in June is planned to finish the job.

Now Scott is writing agency heads asking where he can trim the fat. In his letter, he says he’s trying to fund “critical programs only” and exclude “controversial issues.” Among them: Medicaid expansion and using state tax revenue to fund an expiring federal program that covers uninsured patients. Scott also warns a government shutdown is imminent if the two chambers can’t agree this time around. 

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP