Fla. lawmakers have money to spend or give back

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida legislators this year aren't worrying about budget cuts or how to balance the state budget.

Instead the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature will spend the next nine weeks trying to figure out how to spend an expected budget surplus of more than $1 billion.

Gov. Rick Scott wants legislators to use the surplus to pay for tax and fee cuts of nearly $600 million including a roll back in auto registration fees.

Legislative leaders are largely in agreement with the governor, although they have not endorsed every one of his proposals.

Still splits are emerging over some of Scott's proposals such as his push to increase spending on child protection investigators. Funding for water restoration and other environmental programs could be a sticking point between the House and Senate.

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