McKeel said such requests are to be expected. “Obviously, folks know there’s a little bit more money in the budget this year. They also know we’ve allocated large amounts of money to tax relief and economic development so the availability of money is less than they think it is,” he said.
Some Democrats charge that Republicans are getting more of their budget wishes filled, but Florida Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, a Democrat, said: “That’s politics. My colleagues are in the majority party. If it were switched, the Democrats would get more.”
Vasilinda had requested funds for two colleges in her legislative district, Florida State and the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. So far, those requests have not been included in either the House or Senate budget. But she remains hopeful because a similar request for a different university last year was slipped into the budget during the conference committee at the last minute. “It is a very organic process until the end,” she said.
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