Florida budget

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Nearly a decade after the Great Recession, Florida may finally restore one of its main programs that aids students headed to college.

The state Legislature late Monday approved an overhaul of the state's higher education system that is intended to lift schools in the Sunshine State into the ranks of elite counterparts.

Florida's top Republican legislative leaders said Wednesday that they finally reached a deal on a new budget that should clear the way for them to end their session early next week.

Budget talks have begun—or at least the public face of them have started.  Lawmakers are planning an extremely tight timeline.

Spending offers are flying back and forth between House and Senate leaders.  But Nick Evans reports time is running short on this year’s legislative session.

House subcommittees charged with crafting portions of the state budget are trying to figure out how to make major cuts.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is calling for tax cuts again despite this year’s hazy budget outlook.  The governor unveiled his budget proposal Tuesday.

Gov. Rick Scott is calling for $60 million for the Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahatchee River in response to last summer’s toxic algae blooms.


Despite a request from Gov. Rick Scott for $250 million  this year, there’s not much money showing up in the Enterprise Florida Budget.

Budget Talks Likely To Start This Weekend

Feb 26, 2016
MyFloridaHouse.gov

House and Senate leaders said late Thursday they expect formal budget negotiations to start this weekend. An email to lawmakers from Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, did not provide details.

Scott Unveils $79.3 Billion FL Budget

Nov 23, 2015
MyFloridaHouse.gov

Governor Rick Scott unveiled Florida's proposed $79.3 billion 2016-2017 budget on Monday. Scott said he hopes to allocate more money this year and is projecting the state's revenue to increase. 

Scott introduced the plan at a small manufacturing business in Jacksonville. He says small business are integral to Florida, because they help diversify the economy and create more jobs.

That's why he says the new budget will call for $1 billion in tax cuts for manufacturers and retailers. Scott also wants over $20 billion to go towards education. 

While the University of South Florida received funding in the state budget for its downtown Tampa medical school and a St. Petersburg business school, money that would have gone to a new research vessel was removed by Governor Rick Scott's veto pen earlier this week. The Florida Institute of Oceanography, the collaborative effort of dozens of research institutes and agencies, is based out of the USF College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg. The $6 million FIO was seeking would be used to buy a research boat to replace the aging Bellows. The Tampa Bay Times reports that FIO officials and state lawmakers are trying to figure out what to do next.

Children's Program Boost Makes Budget

Jun 26, 2015

After worries about cuts earlier in the year, $13 million is being added to the state’s Early Steps program, which serves babies and toddlers with developmental disabilities or delays.

House and Senate budget negotiators initially agreed on $3 million for Early Steps -- and Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, added $10 million to the program as legislative leaders finished hammering out a $78.7 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Gov. Rick Scott included the program in his final budget, signed Tuesday.

Gov. Rick Scott vetoed nearly $57 million from the state’s Health and Human Services budget Tuesday, including $9.25 million for biomedical research.

Office of the Governor

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday ended the state's biggest budget crisis in more than two decades by signing a more than $78 billion budget into law, but he may have created another divide with some of his fellow Republicans.

Scott signed the budget just days after the Florida Legislature approved it during an unusual June special session. State government would have been partially shut down if a new budget had not been in place by July 1.

 Update 4/2/2015: Senate President Andy Gardiner says increased budget uncertainty following the federal government's decision to delay talks about healthcare funding, may eliminate state employee pay raises from future budget consideration.

Health-Care News Casts Doubt on Budget

Apr 2, 2015

  The Florida Senate unanimously approved an $80.4 billion budget on Wednesday, hours before the state's health-care agency said the federal government had suspended negotiations on a $2.2 billion pot of money that is part of a conflict between the House and the Senate.

The announcement of a break in the talks between state and federal officials cast further doubt on whether the Legislature could finish its work on the budget in time for the scheduled May 1 end of the session.

Fact-Checking the Governor's Tax Cut Promises

Feb 15, 2015
politifact.com

If you know anything about Florida Governor Rick Scott you know one of his mantras -- less taxes. 

And as the legislature gets set to meet next month, Scott's budget will be a test of whether he's staying true to his campaign promises on that.

PolitiFact Florida has checked the budget against a couple of Scott's tax cut promises and has found that his proposals are, at least, on track.

Advocates Say State Should Spend More on Children in Surplus Year

Feb 8, 2015

Children's advocates say they're "cautiously optimistic" about Gov. Rick Scott's budget recommendations for the coming spending year, which contain relatively few cuts to programs that serve Florida's children.

But they're also wondering why --- with a surplus of more than $1 billion --- Scott hasn't suggested a greater investment in children, one that they say would be more commensurate with his request for $673 million in tax cuts and record spending on K-12 education and Everglades restoration.

Alan Diaz / Associated Press

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been crossing the state this past week, vowing at campaign stops that if he's re-elected he will enact another $1 billion in tax cuts over the next two years.

Scott has said he can enact the tax cuts as well as boost spending on education and pay for new projects to help the environment because the state has a budget surplus.

"We know there's no question about it, it's your money, it's not government money," Scott said about his tax-cutting plans during a campaign stop held in Plant City.

USF News

Among the big winners in the 2014-15 state budget signed by Gov. Rick Scott on Monday is the University of South Florida, which picked up funding for a number of projects that still needed support.

According to USF News, all five of the university's top legislative priorities were met.

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