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Senator Don Gaetz, District 1 — Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 29, 2013

CONTACT: Katie Betta, (850) 487-5229


Senate Budget Prioritizes Education, Economic Development and Reserves

$1.2 Billion Increased Investment in K-12 Education, $2.9 Billion in Reserves

The Florida Senate today released a budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2013-14, prioritizing investments in education and economic development, and saving $2.9 billion in reserves.  The Senate budget proposal is based on existing revenues and does not include increases in taxes, fees, or tuition at state colleges or universities. 

“The Senate budget demonstrates our commitment to fiscally responsible planning for the future by prioritizing investments in education and economic development,” said Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville). “Our budget recognizes the ongoing challenges associated with economic recovery as well as the uncertainty caused by instability in Washington. Florida’s fiscal situation is improving, but the tough times over the last few years taught us many lessons. Instead of spending all we have, we’ve made targeted investments, we’ve planned ahead, and we’ve remained cautious by setting aside more than $2.9 billion in reserves.”
 
The Senate budget also makes significant investments in higher education, Florida’s retirement system, and state employee compensation, including law enforcement and the court system, with the overall goal of addressing budget areas most significantly impacted in prior years as Legislators were faced with making drastic cuts and forgoing needed increases in order to meet the constitutional obligation to pass a balanced budget. Including the required unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) contribution for the Florida Retirement System, the Senate budget includes an increase of $1.464 billion in funding for salary and benefits for public employees and retirees (state employees, teachers, law enforcement, college and university employees).  
 
“Unlike the federal government, here in Florida we have a constitutional responsibility to pass a balanced budget and to live within our means,” said Senator Joe Negron (R-Stuart), Chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. “Through targeted investments in Florida’s future, we’ve addressed some of the areas hardest hit over the last several years, including funding needed to shore up our state’s retirement system, repaying the Lawton Chiles Endowment and the Budget Stabilization Fund and then going beyond these basic obligations to address the needs of teachers, state employees, law enforcement, and court employees who have stayed committed to public service, even in the toughest of times.”
 
The Senate Budget increases K-12 public school funding  $1.2 billion, including a $480 million in salary increases for instructional personnel based on performance.  It also includes  $300 million to return universities to prior year funding levels as well as $30 million for university research preeminence. To address the Senate priority of lashing jobs to the realities of the economy, the budget includes an additional $30 million for high school industry certifications, $7 million of performance funding for industry certifications in the State College System and $45 million for performance funding for high demand programs in the State University System.
 
The Senate budget  fully funds the 2013-14 required unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) contribution for the Florida Retirement System  which is $577.4 million.  Only portions of the UAL were funded in 2012-13 and 2011-2012;  no funding was provided in 2010-11.
 
State Employee Compensation and Benefits are increased by $256.2 million comprised of a three percent pay raise for state employees, funding for a tiered pay increase for state law enforcement and as well as a pay increase for the court system. The Senate budget also funds the employer premium increase for state employee health insurance as well as funding for health insurance of certain OPS employees.
 
The Senate budget invests in a number of economic development programs within the Department of Transportation and the Department of Economic Opportunity. The budget funds $149.6 million in county transportation programs, $241 million for seaport development grants, $51.6 million for intermodal development grants, $158.4 million for aviation development grants, $182 million for rail development grants, and $290 million for bridge construction, among others.
 
The budget invests $87.45 million in Florida’s Economic Development Partners including Enterprise Florida at $18.95 million, VISIT FLORIDA at $52.5 million, and Space Florida at $13.5 million among others.
 
Please see below for a more detailed breakdown of the Senate budget.
 
Total Budget:  $74.3 billion ($26.9 billion GR; $47.4 billion TF)
 
Total Reserves: $2.9 Billion

  • $1.5 billion Working Capital
  • $214.5 million Budget Stabilization Transfer (Fiscal Year 2013-2014 transfer)
  • $708.3 million Budget Stabilization Fund (Est. 6/30/13 balance based on anticipated transfers)
  • $499.3 million Lawton Chiles Endowment Fund (Est. 6/30/13 balance)

Total Reserves as a Percentage of General Revenue: 10.1%
 
Statewide Issues
State Employee Compensation and Benefits
Total: $256.2 million ($160.1 million GR; $96.1 million TF)

  • State Employee 3% Pay Increase – $155.5 million GR; 87.7 million TF
  • State Law Enforcement Tiered Pay Increase – $2.0 million GR; 7.7 million TF
  • Court System Pay Increase – $2.5 million GR; 771K TF 

State Employee Health Insurance
Total: $117.5 million ($77.8 million GR; $39.7 million TF)

  • Employer Premium Increase - $50.7 million GR; 24.2 million TF
  • Provide Health Insurance for Certain OPS Employees – $27.1 million GR; $15.5 million TF 

Florida Retirement System
Total: $214.6 million ($123.4 million GR; $91.2 million TF)

  • Increase to FRS Normal Costs $255 thousand GR; 255 thousand TF
  • Unfunded Actuarial Liability – $101.8 million GR; $80.2 million TF
  • Increase to Health Insurance Subsidy Contribution – $21.4 million GR; $10.7 million TF

Education

  • Public Schools/K12 FEFP – $1.2 billion Increase (State and Local)

             o   Instructional Personnel Salary Increase – $480 million    
             o   Enrollment Workload Increase – $123.9 million
             o   Additional Funds for Florida Retirement System Adjustments – $296.9 million GR
             o   Education Technology Modernization Initiative – $75 million
             o   High School Industry Certifications – additional $30 million
             o   Discretionary Millage Compression Adjustment – additional $30 million
             o   Teachers Lead Program – additional $14 million – $250 per teacher for supplies

  • Florida College System

             o   Equalization Funding - $33 million GR
             o   Florida Retirement System Adjustments – $27.7 million GR
             o   Developmental Education – $18 million GR
             o   Performance Funding for Industry Certifications – $7 million GR

  • State University System

              o   Return Universities to Prior Year Funding Levels - $300 million
              o   Florida Retirement System Adjustments - $71.9 million GR
              o   Performance Funding for High Demand Programs - $45 million GR
              o   University Research Preeminence - $30 million GR

  • Other Education

              o   Florida Resident Access Grant - Workload Increase and Student Award Level
                    Increase for Legacy Institutions -  additional $10.7 million
              o   Bright Futures - Student Award Level Increase (10%) - additional $30 million TF
 
Health and Human Services

  • Medicaid Primary Care Physician Rates – $677.7 million TF
  • Medicaid Cost to Continue - $966.2 million ($32.8 million GR; $933.2 million)
  • Health Insurance Tax on Managed Care Rates – $39.7 ($16.4 million GR; $23.3 million TF)
  • Restore Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Funding – $23.1 million GR
  • Restore Maintenance Adoption Subsidies Funding – $20.6 million ($20.2 million GR; $.4 million TF)
  • Serve Additional Clients through the Home/Community Based Services Waiver – $36 million ($15 million GR; $21 million TF)
  • Serve Additional Clients in Nursing Home Diversion Program – $5.6 million ($2.3 million GR; $3.3 million TF)

 
Criminal and Civil Justice

  • Criminal Justice Estimating Conference Inmate Increase – $11 million GR
  • Department of Corrections Operations Deficit

             o   FY 12-13 – 33.3 million NR GR
             o   FY 13-14 – 36.9 million recurring GR

  • Electronic Monitoring for work release inmates – $7.6million GR
  • Fund Department of Corrections salary lapse within the prisons – $12.5 million GR
  • Fund Courts Post-adjudicatory drug courts – $5.8 million GR
  • Guardian Ad Litem Volunteer Model – $5.4 million
  • Clerks of the Court Operations Deficit – $31.7 million
  • Department of Juvenile Justice Prevention and Intervention Programs – $3 million GR
  • Supreme Court Roof Repairs – $4.86 million NR GR
  • Children’s Advocacy Centers – $3.5 million GR

Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development

  • Florida Armory Revitalization Program (FARP) – $15 million GR
  • State Aid to Library Grants – $21.3 million GR (recurring funds)
  • Cultural and Museum Grants – $5 million GR
  • Historic Preservation Small Matching Grants – $1.4 million GR
  • Grants and Aids – Transportation Disadvantaged – $50.9 million TF
  • Transportation Final Tentative Work Program – $8.5 billion TF
  • Seaports Development Grants – $241 million TF
  • Economic Development Partners – $87.45 million
  • Enterprise Florida – $18.95 million
  • VISIT FLORIDA – $52.5 million
  • Space Florida – $13.5 million
  • Economic Development Tools – Flexible Funding – $20 million TF
  • Economic Development Programs and Projects – $21.57 million 

General Government

  • Citrus Research and Budwood Program – $7.5 million GR
  • Everglades Restoration – $70 million TF (includes $32m in SB 768)
  • Land Acquisition for Military Buffers and Surplus Land Proceeds – $60 million TF
  • Drinking Water & Wastewater Revolving Loan Programs – $12.5 million GR and $203.2 million TF
  • State Parks Maintenance & Repairs – $20.8 million TF
  • Fiscally Constrained Counties – $24 million GR

For more information, please visit www.flsenate.gov

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