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    Legislature set to spend $1.5 million to remodel offices

    ©Associated Press
    December 23, 2002

    TALLAHASSEE -- The state Legislature's leaders plan to spend $1.5-million refurbishing lawmakers' offices, just two years after millions of dollars were spent on other renovations, a newspaper reported Sunday.

    The bill for this latest round of renovations is expected to reach $750,000 for House offices and more than $760,000 for Senate offices, as legislators face a struggle to balance next year's state budget, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.

    To deal with a possible budget shortfall, Senate President Jim King has said he is open to tax increases, while House Speaker Johnnie Byrd has said lawmakers "have to live within their means."

    But improvements made in recent months include creating a suite of offices, complete with mahogany front door and a private bathroom, for House Republicans appointed to leadership posts under Byrd, R-Plant City.

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