Government Shutdown

State officials warned on Monday that if Florida legislators fail to reach a deal on a new state budget, everything from child abuse investigations to money for teachers could be halted in coming weeks.

Gov. Rick Scott last week ordered agencies to give him a list of the state's critical needs if a new budget is not in place by the end of June. Some agencies responded with a list of what needs to be funded, while others said what would happen without a spending plan.

Gov. Rick Scott told agency heads to prepare for the worst Thursday, asking them to list only the state’s most critical needs in the event the Legislature can’t reach an agreement on a budget that doesn’t expand health care to the poor.

Scott sent the letter to agency heads the day after lawmakers said they were making progress on a budget impasse that they’ll seek to resolve in a special session beginning June 1.

“Prepare a list of critical state services our citizens cannot lose in the event Florida is forced to shut down on July 1st,” Scott wrote.

Jon Worth via Flickr

Florida’s senior U.S. senator is optimistic that Congress will settle on a budget before the end of the year – avoiding another government shutdown. Senator Bill Nelson was almost jubilant Tuesday when asked about budget negotiations- he’s on the joint budget committee and reports “real progress” has been made between House and Senate staff.

Senator Bill Nelson says he'll work toward tax reform as Congress faces new fiscal deadlines in December and January. The Democrat is the only Floridian on a bipartisan Senate-House panel charged with crafting a budget blueprint by December 13th.

That would give Congress time to act before January 15th on funding to keep the government running.

Senator Bill Nelson doesn't expect another government shut-down or default as new fiscal deadlines approach in December and January.

The Democrat is the only Floridian on a bipartisan Senate-House panel charged with crafting a budget blueprint by December 13th. That would give Congress time to act before January 15th on funding to keep the government running.

Nelson blames conservative Republicans for this month's shut-down. He says the outcome has left them isolated.

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