RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters Issues News on Florida Budget

Governor DeSantis signed the state budget for fiscal year 2021-2022. The budget totaled $101.5 billion and includes $169 million in tax relief. The Governor vetoed $1.5 billion in total spending, including $1.35 billion from federal funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

“While other states advocated for never-ending lockdowns during the pandemic, Florida followed the science and led the nation in ensuring there were opportunities for Florida families to go to school, go to work, and provide for themselves and their families,” Governor DeSantis said.

The Florida Leads budget exemplifies Florida’s continued resolve and powerful economic foundation. It establishes Florida’s position as a nationwide leader in education, protecting the environment, creating a resilient economy, and ensuring public safety. And it accomplishes all of this while maintaining strong fiscal reserves and lowering taxes to make sure Florida families benefit this year and for decades to come.

This was done through the close work and cooperation of the Governor, Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls.

Highlights of the new budget include:

  • Focusing on fiscal responsibility and providing tax relief to Floridians, leaving $9.5 billion in reserves and implementing a tax package which cuts taxes by $169 million.
  • Funding schools by increasing the base student allocation by $53 per student, adding $120 million for mental health initiatives and spending an historic $550 million to continue raising the minimum K-12 teacher salary to the goal of $47,500.
  • Protecting the environment with record investments for Everglades restoration and water resources by dedicating more than $625 million for these causes, plus $152 million to protect prized properties and waters in Florida, including $102 million for the Florida Forever Program, and $50 million for Florida’s award winning state parks. In addition, the budget contains federal funding of up to $500 million for the Resilient Florida program to fight sea level rise.
  • Making key investments in transportation and infrastructure, using resources to ensure continued job growth, workforce training, affordable housing and rural economic development. Investments in the Florida Department of Transportation total $10.3 billion.
  • The Florida Leads budget dedicates over $2.5 billion toward mental health and substance abuse prevention for children and adults.
  • Supporting military, veterans and their families with $28 million for Florida’s military presence and families, including the Florida Defense Support Task Force, the Defense Infrastructure Program, armory maintenance, military base protection, Florida National Guardsmen seeking higher education degrees and scholarships for children and spouses of deceased or disabled veterans. Additionally, the budget includes up to $50 million for two new National Guard armories in Zephyrhills and Immokalee.
  • Investing $37.5 million in cybersecurity, so state agencies can improve information technology security measures and controls statewide to help protect Florida against the ongoing and evolving nature of cyber threats that can compromise critical state resources and sensitive information.

See the Florida Leads budget highlights here: https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/FY-21-22-Budget-Highlights-6.2.21-FINAL.pdf

See the veto list here: https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2021-Veto-List-Final.pdf

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/06/02/governor-ron-desantis-signs-the-florida-leads-budget/