In an interview with reporters on February 18, 2010, House Speaker Cretul raised objections to Governor Charlie Crist's proposed $69.2-billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2010.
One of the key differences between House Republicans and the Republican governor is the amount of money the state will hold in reserve in the working capital fund. The governor's proposed reserves of $250 million are inadequate, according to the Rep. Cretul. He suggested that the state needs to keep about $1 billion in reserve to address possible revenue shortfalls. The speaker noted that $800 million of the $1 billion held in reserve for the current (2009 – 2010) fiscal year has been used to make up for lower than anticipated revenues without the need for a special legislative session or additional fee or tax increases. He also said, “Another thing that would have happened is that our bond rating would have been downgraded, and that just kicks up a lot of concerns.”
Speaker Cretul also objected to the governor's proposal to issue $50 million worth of bonds to fund the Florida Forever land purchase program, which was unfunded in the 2009 – 2010 budget. He called Florida Forever a “great program,” but said that it was difficult for legislators to talk to their constituents about increased spending on land acquisitions when unemployment is at current levels.