House adjourns 3 days early over budget impasse

Author: Associated Press
Published: Updated:
Florida governor’s mansion and state capitol building. Credit MGN

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The Florida House adjourned its annual session three days early Tuesday because of a budget impasse with the Senate over Medicaid expansion.

Republican House members let out a huge cheer, some raising both thumbs in the air, after House Speaker Steve Crisafulli banged his gavel ending the session.

“He dropped the mic!” Republican Rep. Frank Artiles said.

The House has been adamantly opposed to expanding Medicaid to more than 800,000 Floridians, even though the Senate has proposed a plan that would allow the state to eventually privatize Medicaid and require recipients to work or attend school.

Florida’s Medicaid expansion fight also extends to a $1 billion pot of federal money that helps hospitals that treat Medicaid and uninsured patients. The Obama administration has signaled they are unlikely to extend the hospitals funds if the state doesn’t expand Medicaid.

Gov. Rick Scott says he’s suing the federal government over the issue.

The Senate continued its session, discussing a bill on hydraulic fracturing as House members filed out of their chamber.

The move means that the Senate must take any bills the House passed as they are or they will die. Any bills the Senate passes at this point also will die.

Republican House members took to Twitter to boast about the move.

“Maybe the Senate will get off obamacare expansion and get down to balancing a budget during special session,” Republican Rep. Rich Workman tweeted.

“The Florida House just sent a strong message about wasting your tax dollars. Adjourned #SineDie on Day 57. Headed home!” Republican Rep. Dane Eagle tweeted.

Lawmakers will now have to hold a special session to approve the state’s budget before July 1.

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