December 16, 2008
Late yesterday, a joint letter from Speaker Ray Sansom (R-Ft. Walton Beach) and Senate President Jeff Atwater (R-North Palm Beach) was released announcing a Special Session on the budget. The Special Session has been tentatively scheduled for January 5th – 16th and its purpose will be to deal with the over $2 billion budget shortfall the state is currently experiencing. The official proclamation has not been released as of this time.
This long-awaited announcement comes as no surprise to anyone. The unprecedented down-turn in the economy will force legislators to make some very difficult budget decisions. In addition, it is unclear at this time whether legislators will take up the legislative fix of the corporate income tax glitch issue that AIF and the other members of the business community have been working on for the last several weeks. You may recall that Governor Crist and the Cabinet adopted an emergency rule at the last cabinet meeting to deal with this unintended glitch. Still, legislation is required to fully resolve this problem since the emergency rule only lasts for 90 days. Leaders in both the House and Senate have pledged to resolve the issue at the first available opportunity.