No surprise but still confirmation from the Tampa Bay Times/ Miami Herald that budget talks between the House and Senate have indeed collapsed. The budget impasse means a Special Session or the extension of session is almost now a certainty and with the ideologically driven House Speaker Richard Corcoran giving no quarter to what he perceives as liberal spending priorities of the Senate and Governor Scott, who knows if this will be resolved smoothly in the future.
While we had a budget showdown two years ago with similar differences in priorities between the House and Senate, the bomb-throwing nature of Corcoran whose rhetoric is never conciliatory as well as the House Speaker’s statewide political ambitions makes this budget impasse potentially catastrophic for the state. Even in years like 2001 and 2007 where we had differing ideologies and visions from House and Senate leaders, things eventually came together. But 2017 feels different because of Corcoran’s unwillingness to demonstrate any ability to compromise beyond perhaps just giving what is essentially a “continuing resolution” of FY 2017 spending like we’ve seen so often at the Federal level to avoid a government shutdown. Corcoran is unwilling to address structural and fundamental needs to increase state funding for any number of important matters for the residents of the state, so this showdown is unlikely to end anytime soon.