Fla. economists: Budget cuts could impact state

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida economists are looking at whether or not automatic spending cuts at the federal level are dampening the state's economy.

Economists released a preliminary forecast on Friday that lowers the amount of money the state expects to receive in the next year because of the cuts.

State legislators will use these latest estimates for the new state budget they are expected to pass between now and early May. The amount of money available could determine if legislators will agree to spend money on Gov. Rick Scott's priorities such as a teacher pay raise.

In December economists projected that the state's tax collections will grow around 5 percent for the next two years.

But economists appear likely to alter that number on Friday and may lower it.

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