The most influential money man in the Capitol, Sen. J.D. Alexander, said he's bracing for an additional $200 million shortfall at the end of today when state economists finish their forecast. That would bring the budget gap next year to about $3.8 billion.
But less revenue doesn't mean that lawmakers won't cut even more revenue.
Alexander, the budget chairman from Lake Wales, said he's trying to come up with some type of tax-cut or economic-development incentives in a nod to Gov. Rick Scott's call for massive tax-and-fee cuts totalling $2.4 billion. But Alexander stressed that the Senate's proposal is "nowhere near that much."
Still, he wants to offer Scott something.
"He's the governor and we're trying to support his leadership," Alexander said. "We're going to see what's politically possible and what's responsible."
So how much? Alexander won't say. He said talks are preliminary, nothing's on paper and he's trying to come up with some sort of compromise that the governor, a fellow Republican, would support.