Florida lawmakers fail to complete state's annual budget in time, extending session

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - After failing to meet their Tuesday deadline, lawmakers announced a deal on the state's annual budget has been struck, but the question remains as to when lawmakers will head home.

This is the second year In a row lawmakers have failed to complete the budget in time to end session in 60 days.

The failure was highlighted by Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Chris King Wednesday morning.

“I believed one-party state government was not working. I am more convinced of that today than I have ever been,” said King.

The sticking point was health care spending.

Senator Rob Bradley said, “Not surprisingly, the hospital part of the budget is proving to be difficult.”

But negotiations started to gain momentum Wednesday morning.

Senator Wilton Simpson said, “Our budget chair is continuing to negotiate with the House and we hope that in the next few hours we'll get some resolution.”

And after countless closed-door negotiations, a deal was announced early Wednesday afternoon.

But the budget needs 72 hours to cool off before lawmakers can call it a year, meaning the session will be extended.

Taxpayers are on the hook for roughly $60,000 each day session is extended.

Governor Rick Scott seems to be leaving it up to the Legislature to determine how session will be extended.

“I look forward to the session finishing, getting the budget done, having an opportunity to go through the budget," he said.

Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon has his bets on lawmakers choosing to extend to Monday.

Senator Oscar Braynon said, “If we're going to do it we'd probably do a come back versus stay until Saturday and Sunday.”

On Tuesday, House Speaker Richard Corcoran said the best case scenario would be lawmakers staying in town through Saturday to wrap up the session.

Although agreed on, the details of the budget have yet to be released.