Published: Feb 10, 2011 7:04 PM EST
Updated: Feb 10, 2011 4:05 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Senate President Mike Haridopolos is softening his stance on tax cuts but still says Florida lawmakers first must focus on spending reductions.

The Merritt Island Republican previously had expressed doubts that Florida could afford tax cuts but Thursday acknowledged that it's obvious there will be tax relief because Gov. Rick Scott "is asking for it and this is a give and take."

 The new Republican governor this week rolled out a $65.9 billion budget proposal that includes nearly $2 billion in tax and fee reductions during the budget year that begins July 1.

Haridopolos, who is seeking the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, said he never took tax cuts off the table and that lawmakers want to "team players."

 (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)