State Politics

Lawmakers to begin budget talks today

TALLAHASSEE — House and Senate leaders have agreed to begin budget talks today on resolving a nearly $2 billion spending difference between the chambers. Senate President Jeff Atwater and House Speaker Larry Cretul appointed joint conference committees Friday — two weeks after each chamber passed its budget bill.

The House version weighed in at $67.2 billion — almost $2 billion under the Senate’s bill.

The leaders had hoped to start the negotiations sooner but ran into complications. One is the Senate’s inclusion of $880 million that’s contingent on getting an equal increase in federal Medicaid money that Congress has not yet approved. Those dollars aren’t in the House version in any form.

— The Associated Press