Florida’s economy grows, but not enough to avoid budget woes

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s economy continues to grow, but not enough to solve the state’s looming budget constraints.

State economists on Monday drew up new forecasts that show the state will collect more in taxes in the coming year.

Economists expect the state’s main budget account to grow 4 percent during the fiscal year that ends next June. And they are predicting 4.3 percent growth in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

These estimates are slightly better than ones drawn up earlier this year, but the overall impact will change the bottom line by less than $100 million. Florida’s overall budget is roughly $82 billion.

Legislative leaders acknowledged there still won’t be a lot of extra money to spend in 2017. That means legislators may have to cut spending to pay for top budget priorities.

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