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Scott says he'll call special session if lawmakers don't pass budget

Gov. Rick Scott unexpectedly announced Tuesday that if the Legislature can't settle its budget differences before May 1, he plans to call lawmakers back for a special session next month and ask the Senate and House to adopt a "continuation budget" to fund critical needs of the state next year at existing levels.

Scott issued a statement Tuesday afternoon that said: "I believe that a compromise can be reached that allows for a significant tax cut and historic per student education funding, while supporting critical state services if the House and the Senate begin working immediately working on allocations that set aside adequate reserves to wait for the federal government's decision on the LIP (low income pool) amendment."

By calling for a continuation budget, Scott is giving up on his two biggest legislative priorities: a package of tax cuts and higher funding for public schools.

Scott also said he plans to convene a Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding to "examine the revenues of Florida hospitals, insurance and healthcare providers and how any taxpayer money contributed to the profits or losses of these institutions in Florida."

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