Budget Passed Asks Taxpayers to Pay More for Less

Fee increases galore highlight the 2010 budget package

The Florida Senate and House have agreed on a fee-hiked budget that will see Floridians pay more for cigarettes, tuition, court costs and the right to drive.

The $66.5 billion budget was passed on the last day of the session and is now headed to Gov. Charlie Crist. Crist has the power to veto items in the budget.

To balance the budget, the Legislature is relying on the increased fees in addition to $5.3 billion in federal stimulus money, a $1-a-pack cigarette tax increase and spending reductions. A recent pact with the Seminole Tribe for expanded gambling is also expected to bring much needed revenue to the state.

Lawmakers passed the budget on the final day of a one-week extension of the Legislature's regular 60-day session. Lawmakers went into overtime when they were unable to resolve their differences over the budget.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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