The Florida House passed a sweeping proposal on Monday that could protect the Miami-Dade school system from an anticipated $40 million budget shortfall.
The bill (HB 695) seeks to ameliorate a backlog of property tax appeals in certain parts of the state. Miami-Dade school districts official have long complained that the backlog in Miami-Dade prevents them from getting their property tax money on time.
Members of the Senate say they are committed to helping the state's largest school district.
But whether the bill will make it across the finish line remains to be seen.
Over the course of the legislative session, state representatives from other parts of the state added several provisions to the bill being considered in the House. And some senators have problems with the new language.
"House members from around the state saw this bill as a chance to address other issues with Value Adjustment Boards," said Sen. Anitere Flores, a Republican and chair of the Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation. "Some of those ideas may be worthy, but they haven't been fully vetted."
Among those ideas: a plan to let state lawmakers appoint five citizen members to their county board.
Flores said she may try to strip some of that language out of the bill when it arrives on the Senate floor Tuesday.
"What my intention was was to pass a priority of the Miami-Dade Delegation," she said.
Any changes, however, would have to go back to the House for final approval. And time is running out. The regular session is scheduled to end Friday.
The lawmaker sponsoring the bill in the House, state Republican Rep. Bryan Avila, said he wasn't sure how it would all play out. But he planned to continue the charge.
"This is a very complex process that clearly needs fixing," the Hialeah Republican said.