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Negron says no way on privatization plan

Just how hard is it to follow along as lawmakers cobble together a $74 billion budget?

Apparently, even a powerful appropriations chair like Sen. Joe Negron , R-Stuart, can be surprised by what he finds as the budget wends its way through the Capitol.

On Tuesday, language that would require the state to  develop a plan to move those with developmental disabilities through a managed care system was added at the final joint budget conference between the House and Senate appropriation committees. Non-profit groups objected, saying it was a last-minute addition that could have huge ramifications for those with disabilities and deserved a public reckoning.

Negron was no fan of the add either. Asked Friday night if it would remain in the budget, Negron didn’t hesitate with a reply.

“We’re not doing it,” he said. “I won’t support it, we’re not doing it.”

Earlier in the day, Senate President Don Gaetz had said as much. Asked why the language had appeared with little discussion, Gaetz said “That’s why it won’t be in proviso language that’s passed by this Senate.”