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Fla. deficit-elimination plan passes

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A $2.8 billion deficit-elimination package is heading for approval to close out a special legislative session.

The Senate on Wednesday voted 27-13 for the centerpiece of the plan, a revised budget, with most Democrats in opposition. The House will vote later Wednesday. Republicans control both chambers.

The package will plug a budget hole of at least $2.3 billion and give the state a cushion against additional shortfalls. The plan combines $1.2 billion in spending cuts with reserves, raids on trust funds, higher traffic fines and a tax on nursing homes.

Democrats argued that more revenue increases should have been considered to limit the cuts. Republicans said the cuts are smaller than those in other states.


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