Florida lawmakers work on $2.3B budget deficit

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida legislators are beginning their
search for ways to close a $2.3 billion deficit in the current
state budget during a two-week special session.

They'll be looking at cutting spending, raising court fees and
tapping reserves when they convene Monday.

Florida is hardly alone in the revenue crisis caused by a
year long national recession that has left other states in even more financial difficulty.

A feared budget gap of about $4 billion in the next fiscal year
that begins July 1 could result in fewer health benefits for the
poor and more overcrowding in the state prison system.

There also is increasing demand for Medicaid, unemployment
benefits and food stamps, which one in 10 Floridians receive.


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