Call it a Good Friday news dump: House Appropriations Chair Travis Cummings said there was a chance an extended or Special Session may be needed this year to finish the 2019-20 state budget.
“I could see a scenario where we extend Session past Sine Die … if we do not make the necessary progress with our Senate partners in budget negotiations,” Cummings, a Fleming Island Republican, told Florida Politics.
“That would occur if we do not begin budget conference shortly after the Easter holiday.”
Cummings made similar points a few weeks ago, amid multiple differences between the House and Senate budgets. That included VISIT FLORIDA, which the Senate authorized $50 million, below the $76 million level sought by DeSantis, while the House once again seeks to sunset the program.
That said, there still may be, Cummings allowed, room to move.
“I am a lifelong Floridian. And being a legislator has increased the importance I place on tourism for our state. But the question remains on how much in taxpayer resources are used to promote our state,” Cummings said.
“There has been heavily publicized misuse of funds in prior years, but we are past that with new leadership and more accountability,” he said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this year appointed former lawmaker Dana Young, a Tampa Republican, to take the reins of the state’s tourism marketing arm. “I can’t tell you how honored I am to have this opportunity and I won’t let you down,” she told tourism leaders then.
Negotiation, said Cummings, is the key for projects that are prioritized by the Senate, such as Senate President Bill Galvano’s…