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Pricetag for FL bailout/stimulus: $13b

Gov. Charlie Crist's is meeting with his agency chiefs right now over the federal economic stimulus plan, which his office calculates is worth as much as $13 billion to Florida over three fiscal years, including this one that ends June 30.

"This obviously could be a tremendous help," Crist said noting the $3-$4b budget deficit the state faces next fiscal year. He said the extra money wouldn't just help the budget, it would stimulate the state's flagging economy right now.

That $13b calculation is for the House bill, passed last week. The Senate version has fewer numbers. But Crist's lobby team in Washington said the Senate version would probably cost about the same. States across the nation are lobbying to get more road spending in the Senate version.

A big difference between the House and Senate versions concerns Medicaid. The House would award about $4.2b to Florida, the Senate about $3.9b.

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