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Balanced federal budget? Senate Dems say no thanks

Senate lawmakers just voted to make Florida the 20th state to demand a balanced federal budget and limit federal restrictions on state spending, with opposition from Democrats.

The concurrent resolution, proposed by Florida Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, and House Speaker Larry Cretul, R-Ocala, calls for the state jto oin 19 others in demanding a Balanced Budget Amendment to the federal Constitution.

But leading Senate Democrats say the measure is too simplistic and could prevent future federal help.

These are bumper sticker solutions, and I dont want to be part of it, said Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach.

Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens, recalled fears of the Great Depression told to her by her father, and said that the federal aid programs were crucial to helping recover from the economic storm. Requiring the federal government to balance its budget inhibits its ability to pass such measures now.

I think that what were doing is here suggesting a simplistic solution thats a little too simplistic< she said.

Leading the charge for the resolution on the Senate floor, Sen. Joe Negron, R-Palm City, told his fellow lawmakers that the federal government should be held to the same budget requirements as Florida, which is required to balance its budget. He said that the requirement would not prevent any needed federal spending.

We cant say they should not send any money to the states, he said. But they shouldnt send money to the states that they do not have.

The amendments convention that would be required for states to pass the balanced budget amendment must be called for by two-thirds (35) of the states. to date, 19 states have called for a convention.

Once a convention is held, the amendment must be ratified by 38 states.

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