At the midpoint of the legislative session, the Florida Senate and the House of Representatives are stalemated over the issue of health care expansion under the Affordable Care Act and funding for the Low Income Pool (LIP).
Under current law the funding associated with the LIP will expire on July 1, 2015, leaving a $2 billion hole in the budget.
One tax cut, on telephone and cable services, would be a $471 million hit to the state's revenue stream, but would have only a slight impact on individual Floridians and families -- an estimated annual savings of $40 per person and $160 per family.
The size of the proposed $471 million cut is put in context when compared to funding amounts for vital state programs. For example, it is larger than the total budget of the Voluntary Prekindergarten Program. And it is 75 times larger than the proposed general revenue increase for Alzheimer's respite services for 167 seniors and funding for an additional 406 seniors in the Community Care for the Elderly program.
The needs of the state suggest that now is not the time to pass $600 million to $800 million in tax cuts.
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