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Crist and Legislature send out budget cut orders

The budget offices of Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Legislature today sent out instructions to state agencies asking them to prepare recommendations on how to cut spending by as much as 10 percent. The letter states that the state will collect anywhere from $800 million to $1 billion less than initially forecast for the 2007-08 budget year that starts Sunday. The new state budget is roughly $71.5 billion.

The letter says that such a "reduction" in revenues will not be "manageable" in subsequent years without a reduction in spending and that agencies should assume a "minimum" cut of 4 percent in recurring general revenue appropriations both this year and next year. To help achieve that goal agencies will receive 24 percent of their appropriated money for each quarter, not the usual 25 percent. Furthermore, the letter says agencies should "take responsible action" to reduce discretionary spending, such as travel and equipment, and fill only "essential vacant positions."

Here's a copy of the initial budget memo: Download 6.29.2007 Agency Budgets Memo.pdf

Here's a copy of the detailed instructions spelling out the 10 percent reduction plans agencies must come up with by August 8: Download 6.29.2007 Agency Budgets Schedule VIIIB.pdf