Florida Senate passes budget that wouldn't punish schools

Legislature has until March 8 to agree on budget
Tina Polsky
Posted at 6:52 AM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 08:57:56-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Let the Florida budget negotiations begin.

The Florida Senate unanimously passed a nearly $109 billion spending plan Thursday with virtually no debate the day after the House passed a $105 billion plan after two hours of contentious debate.

The two sides now have until March 8 to agree on a budget to send to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis if they want to finish the annual 60-day session on time.

One big difference between the spending proposals is that the House wants to divert $200 million from 12 school districts that imposed mask mandates despite an order by the governor not to.

The Senate budget wouldn't punish the districts.