Cost of Hurricane Irma in Florida continues to grow

State has spent nearly $650 million so far

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The tab for Hurricane Irma keeps rising, and Florida legislators are warning that it could require some tough budget choices for next year.

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Gov. Rick Scott's budget director told a Senate panel on Wednesday that the state has spent nearly $650 million so far in the aftermath of the deadly storm that ripped through the state last month.

State officials expect that total to continue to go up in the weeks ahead. It doesn't include money that federal authorities are giving directly to Irma victims.

Florida should get most of its expenses reimbursed by the federal government, but that money may not be paid to the state quickly.

Sen. Jack Latvala, the Senate budget chairman, said "obviously we are going to have to tighten our belts."

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