SummaryOn Monday, June 29, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the budget for the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2020-2021. The budget is the culmination of many rounds of negotiations throughout the Legislative Session. The Florida Legislature is constitutionally required to pass a balanced state budget, officially titled as the General Appropriations Act, during the annual regular session. Governor DeSantis must approve the budget before the start of the next fiscal year and is permitted to strike line item vetoes of budget items.
While the House and Senate’s passed budget for State Fiscal Year 2020-2021 totaled approximately $93.2 billion, Governor DeSantis vetoed an unprecedented $1 billion in projects to accommodate fiscal concerns related to the coronavirus response and to offset potential revenue implications from reduced economic activity. The total SFY 2020-21 budget equals approximately $92.2 billion. The vetoed funds include over $550 million in projects originally contained in the Governor’s Proposed SFY 2020-21 Budget.
After vetoes, the total state fiscal year budget represents approximately a 1.22% increase from the previous SFY 2020 General Appropriations Act.
Health and Human Services received the largest portion of funding for the budget in SFY 2020-2021. All educational programs and services combined received the second largest amount of funding. Finally, Natural Resources, Environmental Issues, Growth Management and Transportation Expenditures represent the third largest portion of the budget in SFY 2020-2021.
General revenue expenditures for the SFY 2020-2021 budget equals approximately $34.7 billion, while trust fund expenditures total approximately $57.5 billion. Approximately $487.8 million of vetoed funds originate from General Revenue with the remaining balance, $512.6 million, reduced from various state Trust Funds.
Budget Highlights include salary increases for teachers and state employees as well as environmental funding.
According to the Governor’s press release, budget reserve amounts total $6.3 billion including:
- $2.3 billion in un-allocated General Revenue
- Includes projected reversions of $781.6 million. This does not include adjustments for COVID-19 revenue losses.
- $1.7 billion in the Budget Stabilization Fund
- $1.5 billion in un-allocated Trust Funds
- $0.8 billion in Tobacco reserves
- $6.3 billion in Total Reserves
County Funding Vetoes
Affordable Housing: The Governor vetoed $225 million allocated for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP). All funding for the program was vetoed. Additionally, the Governor vetoed a minor portion of funding for the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) program for $250,000 leaving intact $115 million for rental assistance.
Job Growth Grant Fund: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocated $20 million, however, the Governor vetoed this entire appropriation.
Libraries: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocated $22.5 million for libraries, however, the Governor vetoed $2 million in funding specifically for Library cooperatives and $1 million for Library construction grants.
County Funding Highlights
Agriculture & Environment
Environment/Water Quality Highlights: The budget includes more than $625 million for Everglades restoration and the protection of water resources.
Water Quality Improvement Grant Program: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $85 million. Specifically, the SFY 2020-2021 budget includes:
- $25 million provided for a grant program (up to 50% match) to local government agencies making wastewater and stormwater improvements, including septic conversion and remediation. No match is required for local governmental agencies defined as a rural area of opportunity, or if a local governmental agency is implementing a public private partnership pay for performance agreement. This item is in line with the Blue-Green Algae Task Force consensus findings.
- $25 million is directed to projects in the St. Johns River, Suwannee River, and Apalachicola River watersheds.
- $10 million is provided for coral reef ecosystem protection and restoration.
- $25 million for the Indian River Lagoon water quality improvement projects
Total Maximum Daily Loads: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $25 million to include innovative water treatment projects that demonstrate the ability to most rapidly achieve department verified phosphorous and/or nitrogen load reductions consistent with the nutrient load reduction goals and TMDLs established by the department. The department may also provide cost-share funding for innovative nutrient removal projects.
Harmful Algal Blooms: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $60.6 for innovative technologies and short-term solutions for addressing harmful algal blooms in fresh waterbodies; funds may also be used for the red tide emergency grant program and to support local government efforts in cleaning beach and coastal areas.
Water Quality Enhancement and Accountability: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $10.8 million for increased water quality monitoring, continuation of the water quality public information portal, and to support the Blue-Green Algae Task Force.
Springs restoration: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $50 million from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for springs restoration projects and land acquisition to protect springs.
Land Acquisition Funding Highlights:
Florida Forever: $100 million, $8.7 million Rural and Family Lands
Florida Communities Trust:$10 million
Florida Recreation Development Assistance Grants: $2.3 million
Beach Management Funding Assistance Program: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $50 million for grants and aids to local governments and non-state entities for beach management assistance.
Resilient Coastline Initiative: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $10 million to assist local governments with sea level rise planning and coastal resilience projects, including storm resiliency as well as coral reef restoration and monitoring.
Mosquito control programs: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $2.7 million.
Transportation & Economic Development
- The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $115 for the State Apartment Incentive Loan Program (SAIL).
- The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $30 million for the Hurricane Housing Recovery Program (HHRP).
Visit Florida: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $50 million.
Small County Outreach Program (SCOP): The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $96 million.
Small County Road Assistance Program (SCRAP): The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $47.6 million.
Health and Human Services
Shared County/State Juvenile Detention: The SFY 2020-2021 budget estimates the counties’ portion of total Shared County/State Juvenile Detention to be $57,600,640. This represents an estimated increase of about $0.4 million from the current year budget and 48.6% of the total Juvenile Detention funding ($118,517,403).
Community Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services: Funded at approximately $850,798,814 million in the budget, which represents a $16 million increase from the previous fiscal year.
Community Action Treatment (CAT) Teams: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $30.8 million, directed to DCF to contract with providers throughout the state for operation of CAT teams, which provide community-based services for children (aged 11 to 21) with mental health and/or substance abuse diagnoses, which represents a $0.75 million increase from the previous fiscal year.
Public Safety, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Local Matching Grant Program: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $9 million for the program, which supports county programs that serve adults or youth who are in behavioral crisis and at risk of entering the criminal justice system. This represents the same budget year funding as the previous fiscal year.
Crime Labs: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates approximately $61.7 million in grants and aids to local governments for criminal investigations, which represents a 1.42% increase over the previous fiscal year.
Library Grants and Library Cooperatives: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $20.5 million after vetoes.
Fiscally Constrained County Funding: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $30.2 million to offset the impacts of previously approved constitutional amendments.
Emergency Distributions: The SFY 2020-2021 budget allocates $25.1 million for emergency distribution revenue sharing for small counties.