Florida budget

Florida Tax Watch Building front
Florida Tax Watch

Florida Tax Watch is calling for Governor Rick Scott to veto money for more than 100 projects it calls “budget turkeys” that didn’t go through the legislature’s proper vetting process. But the watchdog group says the process was more transparent this year.

House Appropriations Chair Carlos Trujillo (R-Miami).
Florida Channel

The Florida Legislature faces the difficult task of funding the country’s third largest state on a shoestring.  Lawmakers are putting their noses to the grindstone.

Nick Evans

Florida will spend a whopping $82.3 billion to fund state services for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. The state spending plan includes a boost for education, no state employee pay raises and tax cuts that fall short of what Governor Rick Scott wanted.

Florida Channel

According to recent national reports, there are thousands of untested rape kits around the U.S.—leading to a backlog of unsolved cases. The Florida Legislature is now considering putting thousands of dollars into a statewide rape kit assessment.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (l) speaks to Senate President Andy Gardiner prior to the legislative session.
D.A. Robin / WFSU-FM

Florida lawmakers may get back to work on a budget as soon as June 1st. A joint memo by the House and Senate have declared the timeframe for Special Session “A”.

Office Of Economic And Demographic Research

State economists are trying to figure out what impact certain proposals will have on Florida’s budget. Monday’s conversation focused on property tax and corporate income tax bills.

Economists sat around a long, round table with their heads down crunching on numbers on a bill that would increase the states homestead exemption for some homeowners.

Governor Rick Scott could have a billion dollars to work with a he drafts a state spending proposal to send to lawmakers.

Florida’s top economists are crunching the numbers and foresee a billion dollars more available for the next fiscal year. That’s a big jump from the $336 million increase they had been forecasting. In a press release, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli downplayed the numbers saying, “We will continue our commitment to fiscal responsibility with every dollar as we prioritize funding initiatives and seek ways to continue tax relief for Florida’s families.”

Governor's office

Florida Governor Rick Scott spent the week releasing details of his proposed 2014 budget in dribs and drabs. He’s expected to unveil the full plan next week, but some say it’s already clear the governor is courting votes from certain groups of people.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has unveiled his proposal for the state’s budget in the coming fiscal year. He calls it the Florida Family First budget, but some worry it ignores the needs of average working class people.

Scott is proposing a $74.2 billion budget. His office said it’s the first time since fiscal year 2008/2009 that  that state hasn’t had a General Revenue budget gap to fill. And Scott said that means the state has a little cash to invest in its priorities.

Florida will likely not face a budget shortfall next year or the year after, that makes for the best budget projection the state’s economists have seen in six years. But, Senate Budget Chief JD Alexander says while the state’s financial situation is improving, it has a ways to go.

“You know, it’s better, but we’re not out of the woods yet. I wish we were,” said Alexander.

UPDATE:

As Florida slowly recovers from the recession, state economists released their official forecast on Thursday for the amount of tax revenue expected to come in over the next two years. The new number is about the same as the initial projection that state legislators used to draw up this year's budget. Chief economist Amy Baker said, because of the sluggish economy, the state should see a slow revenue growth of 4-to-5 percent-per-year for the next two years. And, she acknowledged, revenues could still be hurt by unpredictable factors.