$825 million investment in teachers and school personnel, $643.6
million in water quality and protection, $403 million in state employees
The Florida Senate today unanimously passed House Bill 5001 (the substance of Senate Bill 2500), the General Appropriations Act, a proposed state budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Statement by Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton)
“Building on a $783 million increase in K-12 education funding approved by the Legislature and Governor DeSantis last year, our Senate budget continues to elevate the dedicated teachers who serve Florida’s students with specific funding to support teachers and other school personnel. In addition to funding for teacher raises, the Senate budget includes an across-the-board salary increase for our hardworking state employees.
“The unanimous support for this budget is a testament to the hard work of Chair Bradley and our Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs who worked with each Senator to ensure our shared values are represented in this budget. Among those important values is an expansion of funding for resources for vulnerable Floridians, including increased funding for home and community-based services for Floridians with unique abilities and a rate enhancement for the dedicated providers who serve Floridians living in nursing homes. We also continue critical investments in protection of our environment and water quality, as well as forward-looking investments in infrastructure, including broadband, which are critical to future security and economic growth.”
Statement by Senator Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island), Chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations
“The Senate’s Teacher Salary Increase Allocation, along with a significant increase in flexible funding through the Base Student Allocation will provide opportunities for school districts to both increase the starting salary for classroom teachers and invest in veteran teachers and other members of school district personnel who serve our children.
“We continue our commitment to faithfully implement the Water and Land Conservation Amendment by investing $125 million in Florida Forever and join with Governor DeSantis to continue significant investments in Everglades Restoration and protection of our water resources by dedicating $643.6 million to these important efforts.
“Other key highlights of our budget include: fully funding affordable housing opportunities with $387 million from the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Funds, $110 million in new funding in the Department of Corrections, and an across the board raise for our hardworking state employees. We also maintain $3.5 billion in total reserves. Recent hurricane seasons are an all too present reminder of the need for such a strong rainy day fund. Moving forward, my fellow Senators and I look forward to the important work ahead as we prepare to begin final budget negotiations with our House colleagues.”
As noted in an earlier release, the Senate’s $92.8 billion budget accounts for significant changes in estimates of future state obligations that occurred between the August and January consensus estimates developed by subject matters experts appointed by the Governor, Senate President, and Speaker of the House. The Senate budget is based on January estimates not available when the Governor and Executive Branch Agencies submitted funding requests and recommendations in the fall of 2019.
Most notably, the Senate’s budget and related documents account for the addition of 10,000 students to the K-12 education system as well as a $216 million increase in costs associated with Florida’s Medicaid Program. The Senate’s budget also accounts for updates to the Department of Transportation Work Program that increased funding available for the state’s transportation infrastructure by $368.5 million as well as $57 million in federal funding recently awarded to Florida to combat opioid abuse and addiction.
Further, the Senate budget makes use of federal taxpayer dollars available to the state by including investments in the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, nursing homes, and the Medicaid workload as well as Federal Drinking and Wastewater Revolving Loan Programs that return as much as four times the amount of funds invested by the state in these important programs.