Florida House ready to vote on $74 billion budget

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida House is poised to approve a $74 billion budget.

The House is scheduled to give a final vote Friday on its spending plan. The Florida Senate passed its rival budget earlier this week.

Lawmakers have until early May to reach a deal and pass a final state budget. The new budget will cover spending from July 2013 until June 2014.

There are differences between the two budgets. The House, for example, has proposed a six percent tuition hike.

The Senate and House also differ on pay raises for state employees.

The Senate has proposed a three percent across the board raise. But the House is offering a $1,000 a year increase as well as a $400 bonus based on merit.

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