budget crisis

Wikimedia Commons

Buoyed by the sudden likelihood of a budget pact, lawmakers are on track to avoid a repeat of last month's government shutdown — though President Donald Trump unexpectedly raised the possibility of closing things down again if he can't have his way on immigration.

Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

The Florida Legislature kicked off a 20-day special session Monday, with legislative leaders sounding more open to compromise as they race against the clock to pass a new state budget.

The conciliatory tone espoused by House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner was different than it was just a few weeks ago when the Republican-controlled Legislature ended its session amid finger-pointing and lawsuits.

WMFE

A budget standoff in Florida over federal funding for low-income patients could be ending. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to the Agency for Health Care Administration today.

Federal officials had previously said Florida would not continue to get money for the “Low Income Pool” program unless the state agreed to expand Medicaid, an optional portion of the Affordable Care Act. Now, a letter from a top official says Florida likely will get federal funds for the “LIP” program.

Scott Heads To Washington To Talk LIP Funding

May 5, 2015

Setting off for Washington, D.C., to meet with federal officials over health-care money at the heart of a state budget crisis, Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday flatly ruled out a Senate plan to extend private insurance coverage to hundreds of thousands of lower-income Floridians.

Scott, who once supported Medicaid expansion, said last month that he now opposes a Senate proposal to use expansion dollars for the private insurance plan. But his remarks to reporters on what he would tell federal officials about the Senate initiative marked his strongest rejection yet.