Florida Legislature at ‘stalemate’ over new state budget

Members of the House of Representatives rise for prayer at the opening of a special session Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. Legislators are meeting for a rare summer one-week special session, to redraw the boundary lines of two congressional districts ruled unconstitutional last month. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida legislative leaders are at a “stalemate” over a new state budget with time running out.

The first but crucial round of negotiations between the House and Senate broke down Sunday. Legislators have less than two weeks left in their annual session.

The divide prompted Republican House Speaker Richard Corcoran to lash out at fellow Republicans in the Senate, comparing them to national Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders. Corcoran said there was “no limits to their liberalism.”

The House and Senate have a $4 billion difference in their rival spending plans.

Legislative leaders have been trying to come up with a broad budget deal that would spell out how much would be spent in key areas.

The new state budget needs to be in place by July 1.

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