The Florida Legislature passed the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for State Fiscal Year 2019-2020 on May 4th, after extending the Legislative Session for one day for allow for completion of the required 72-hour “cooling off” period. The “State Budget” as it is known, and associated conforming and implementing legislation, are all subject to approval by the Governor, who can veto either the entire budget, entire bills, or individual spending items. The Legislature can override the Governor’s vetoes with a two-thirds vote each in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The Legislature’s proposed budget for State Fiscal Year 2019-2020 totals approximately $91.1 billion, and represents a $2.3 billion increase over the current year budget. The chart below summarizes a comparison of the current year 2018-19 State Budget and the proposed State Budget for 2019-2020 which will begin on July 1, 2019.
Health and Human Services again accounts for the largest share of the budget at $37.7 billion, largely due to programs such as Medicaid. This represents a 1.4% increase over the current year budget. Educational programs and services combined received the second largest amount of funding, totaling just over $26 billion, a 3.1% increase over the current year appropriations. Natural Resources, Environmental Issues, Growth Management, and Transportation Expenditures make up the third largest portion of the budget at approximately $14.8 billion, down a half-percent from the current year funding.

Proposed general revenue appropriations for 2019-2020 total approximately $34 billion and trust fund appropriations total approximately $57 billion. The chart below compares appropriations between 2018-2019 and the proposed 2019-2020 budget by fund type:

Individual Components


Water Quality Highlights:
Everglades Restoration: $359.4 million total, including $249.8 million from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF). Most funding is for programs included within DEP’s budget, and there is $40 million for the Tamiami Trail in the DOT Work Plan.

Springs Restoration: $50 million from the LATF, for land acquisition to protect springs and for capital projects that protect the quality and quantity of water that flow from springs. There is an additional $50 million available for springs projects carrying over from the current year.

Total Maximum Daily Loads: $25 million, with discretion for the DEP to include innovative water treatment projects aimed at rapidly achieving phosphorous and/or nitrogen load reductions as required by the established TMDLs and nutrient reduction goals.

Water Quality Enhancement and Accountability: $10.8 million for increased water quality monitoring, creation of a water quality public information portal, and establishment of a Blue-Green Algae Task Force.

Grants for Innovative Technologies: $10 million for support for efforts to combat harmful algal blooms in fresh waterbodies, mitigate the impacts of red tide in beach and coastal areas, and to implement water quality treatment technologies surrounding Lake Okeechobee.

Other Highlights:
Florida Forever: Funded at $33 million; however, there are unspent funds from the current fiscal year (which was funded at $100.8 million last session) that will carryover.

Beach Management Funding Assistance Program: $50 million is provided for grants and aids to local governments and non-state entities for beach management assistance; this includes approximately $10 million from general revenue, and approximately $40 million from the LATF.

Member Water Projects: $49 million

Florida Resilient Coastline Initiative: $5.5 million to assist local governments with storm resiliency, sea level rise planning, coastal resilience projects, and coral reef health.

Transportation & Economic Development

Affordable Housing: $200 million total for affordable housing programs, with the majority of the funding directed towards Hurricane Michael recovery efforts in the panhandle. Specifically, $115 million is available for hurricane recovery and the remaining $85 million will be available for housing programs statewide; of the $85 million, $8 million is directed in proviso to the Jacksonville Urban Core Workforce Housing Project

Job Growth Grant Fund: Funded at $40 million; down from previous years’ funding level of $85 million

Visit Florida: After the chambers originally agreed to phase-out funding for Visit Florida by October 2019, they later settled on $50 million in non-recurring funding which will keep Visit Florida in operation for at least the next fiscal year

Small County Outreach Program (SCOP): $71.2 million, a slight decrease from the current year funding; of this total, $9 million is directed to transportation projects in rural areas of opportunity (RAOs)

Small County Resurface Assistance Program (SCRAP): $29.3 million, a half-million reduction from the current year budget

General Government

Library Grants and Library Cooperatives: $25.3 million

Cultural, Museum, and Historic Preservation Grants and Initiatives: $39.6 million

Fiscally Constrained County Funding: $28.1 million, to offset the impacts of previously approved constitutional amendments

Emergency Distributions: $24.2 million in emergency distributions revenue sharing for small counties

Health & Safety

Shared County/State Juvenile Detention: The proposed budget estimates the counties’ portion of total Shared County/State Juvenile Detention to be $57,179,657. This represents an estimated decrease of $6.2 million from the current year budget and 47.47 percent of the total Juvenile Detention funding ($120,449,129).

Community Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services: Funded at $834 million for all programs, a more than $100 million increase over the current year.

Community Action Treatment (CAT) Teams: $30 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. This is a nearly $10 million increase of the current year’s funding.

Public Safety, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Local Matching Grant Program: $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 is equal to the current year funding.

Crime Labs: Approximately $3 million in grants and aids to local governments for criminal investigations

Homeless Programs Challenge Grants: $3.1 million is appropriated to DCF for challenge grants, which are awarded to lead agencies of homeless assistance continuums of care.