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Florida Session Roundup

Florida’s 2009 legislative session was dominated by extreme fiscal stress and a leadership crisis.  While May 1st marked the official end of the 60-day legislative session, lawmakers had to extend the regular session by a week  in order to reach an agreement on the budget.  

Budget: Despite an earlier pledge against raising taxes, Republican Gov. Charlie Crist recognized the extremity of the fiscal crisis and signed Florida's $66.5 billion budget, including more than $5.6 billion in stimulus dollars — including money for one-time expenditures, like road construction -- and  approximately $2 billion in higher taxes and fees.  Much of the new revenue comes from a $1-a-pack cigarette tax and higher fees on driving licenses and motor vehicle tags.