TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida lawmakers are taking their first votes this year on a new state budget.
A Senate budget panel on Wednesday gave swift and unanimous approval to a proposed $74 billion budget.
It didn't go as smoothly in the Florida House. A House panel voted in favor of the budget but Democrats voted against the spending bill.
House Democrats said they could not support the budget since it does not include federal aid to expand Medicaid coverage to the state's poor.
But both the House and Senate are proposing more money for public schools and raises for state workers.
This year's proposals are a turnaround from the last few years when lawmakers were forced to cut programs.
Lawmakers have until early May to send a new budget to Gov. Rick Scott.
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