• Legislature approves record $77 billion budget


    Florida legislators are signing off on a record $77 billion budget.

    The Florida Legislature approved a new budget Friday night, right before it ended its annual 60-day session.

    The Senate passed the budget unanimously, while the House vote was 102-15.

    The new budget is 3.5 percent higher than last year's budget and includes a boost in funding for schools, child welfare and projects to battle water pollution.

    Legislators came into the annual session with a $1.2 billion budget surplus. They used part of the surplus to pay for $500 million in tax and fee cuts, including a rollback in auto registration fees.

    But the extra money also enabled them to spread it around on dozens of hometown projects.

    The budget heads next to Gov. Rick Scott, who can veto individual spending items.

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