General Overview

On Thursday, January 28, Governor Ron DeSantis released his recommended budget for the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2021 - 2022. The Governor’s recommended state budget serves as an important starting point for both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate as they begin work on developing their own proposed state budgets. The Florida Legislature is constitutionally required to pass a state budget, officially titled as the General Appropriations Act, during the annual regular session.

 

The Governor’s proposed budget for State Fiscal Year 2021 - 2022 totals approximately $96.6 billion, and represents a 3.6% increase from the current state budget for SFY 2020 - 21. The chart below summarizes a comparison of the current SFY 2021 budget and Governor’s proposed SFY 2022 budget. 

 

  

 

Health and Human Services received the largest portion of funding, totaling approximately $42.5 billion. This represents a 7.85% increase in appropriations from the current year. All educational programs and services combined received the second largest amount of funding, totaling approximately $27 billion. This represents an increase of approximately 1.5% from the current fiscal year. 

 

Finally, Natural Resources, Environmental Issues, Growth Management and Transportation Expenditures represent the third largest portion of the SFY 2022 budget with funding equaling $14.6 billion, which represents a 1.26% decrease from the current fiscal year. 

 

Proposed general revenue expenditures for SFY 2022 equal approximately $35.8 billion and trust fund expenditures total approximately $60.8 billion. The chart below compares expenditures between SFY 2021 and the proposed SFY 2022 budget by fund type.

 

   

 

County Funding Highlights

 

Agricultural & Environment 

 

Water Quality Highlights

  • Septic-to-Sewer Improvements: $100 million provided for a grant program (up to 50% match) to local government agencies making wastewater and stormwater improvements, including septic conversion and remediation.  This item is in line with the Blue-Green Algae Task Force consensus findings. 
  • Water Quality Improvement Grant Program: $50 million recommended for reductions in harmful discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries 
  • Total Maximum Daily Loads: $45 million recommended for TMDLs and to accelerate implementation of nutrient pollution reduction projects in BMAPs and other restoration plans, including green infrastructure and land acquisition projects. This item is in line with the Blue-Green Algae Task Force consensus findings. 
  • Harmful Algal Blooms: $10.6 million 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. 
  • Springs Restoration: $50 million from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for springs restoration projects and land acquisition to protect springs.

 

Florida Forever: $50 million recommended 

 

Beach Management Funding Assistance Program: $50 million for grants and aids to local governments and non-state entities for beach management assistance, which is consistent with the current year funding level. 

 

Resilient Coastline Initiative: $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. 

 

Resilient Florida program: $12.1 million to close the gap for statewide sea level rise/vulnerability assessments. These funds would allow DEP to grant up to $100,000 to all remaining coastal counties, and inland counties who have not completed vulnerability assessments. 

 

Mosquito control programs: $2.6 million, which is equal to the current year funding level.  

 
Transportation and Economic Development

 

Affordable Housing:  

  • State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program: Recommended $296.6 million. This item includes proviso language directing local governments receiving SHIP dollars to prioritize hurricane housing recovery before using the funds for other projects. 
  • State Apartment Incentive Loan Program (SAIL): Recommended $126.7 million  
  • The Governor’s Budget Recommendations do include a sweep of $225 million from the Local Government Housing trust Fund to General Revenue 

 

Job Growth Grant Fund: Recommended at $26 million, an increase of $6 million over the current year. 

 

Visit Florida: $50 million recommended, which would match funding from the current fiscal year. 

 

Small County Outreach Program (SCOP): $88.5 million recommended; a $7.5 million decrease over the current year funding.  

 

Small County Road Assistance Program (SCRAP): $38.2 million recommended; a nearly $9.4 million decrease over the current year funding.  

 

Rural Economic Development: 

  • Rural Broadband: $1.6 million recommended for grants to local governments to Florida rural communities to assist them with expanding broadband capability and availability. 
  • Rural Infrastructure Fund: $5 million for the to support local rural infrastructure projects such as broadband, roads, storm and wastewater systems, and telecommunications facilities.
  • Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Program: $1.17 million for the to provide local governments with access to financial assistance to further promote the economic viability of Florida's rural communities. 
 
Health and Human Services

 

Shared County/State Juvenile Detention: The proposed budget estimates the counties’ portion of total Shared County/State Juvenile Detention to be $61.8 million. This represents an estimated increase of about $4.2 million from the current year budget and 48% of the total Juvenile Detention funding ($127.4 million). 

 

Community Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services: Funded at approximately $889 million for all programs, which represents a $38 million increase from the current year. 

 

Additional Community Transitional Beds: $6.5 million for additional forensic community transition beds, to divert individuals from the state mental health treatment facilities into community-based settings. 

 

Community Action Treatment (CAT) Teams: $30.5 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 equal to the current year 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 $3.1 million in grants and aids to local governments for criminal investigations 

 

General Government 

 

Library Grants and Library Cooperatives: $19.5 million recommended 

 

Fiscally Constrained County Funding: $31.1 million, to offset the impacts of previously approved constitutional amendments  

 

Emergency Distributions: $25.1 million in emergency distributions revenue sharing for small counties 

 

Implementing & Conforming Bills

 

Appropriations Implementing and Conforming bills make certain changes to substantive law in order to implement the proposed General Appropriations Act. Implementing and Conforming Bill topics include: 

 

Tax Breaks:

  • An 8-day Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday to Save Florida Families $56 Million—The holiday covers clothing up to $60, school supplies up to $15, and computers priced at $1,000 or less 
  • A 10-day Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday to Save Florida Families $9 Million – The holiday covers items needed during disasters including generators priced at $750 or less 

 

Juvenile Detention Costs: 

The Governor’s Proposed Implementing bill provides in section 37 that the Department of Juvenile Justice is required to review county juvenile detention payments to ensure that counties fulfill their financial responsibilities required in s. 985.6865, Florida Statutes. If the Department of Juvenile Justice determines that a county has not met its obligations, the department shall direct the Department of Revenue to deduct the amount owed to the Department of Juvenile Justice from the funds provided to the county under s. 218.23, Florida Statutes. The Department of Revenue shall transfer the funds withheld to the Shared County/State Juvenile Detention Trust Fund. 

 

Resilient Florida: 

The Governor’s budget includes $25 million from existing Documentary Stamp Tax revenue for the Resilient Florida program, and recommends increases each year by $25 million until reaching $100 million by the 2024-2025 fiscal year. Taking advantage of historically low interest rates, these funds are provided as debt service to bond more than $1 billion in total program funding for grants. The Governor proposed several conforming bills necessary to implement this budget recommendation. 

 

FRS Contribution Rates: 

The Governor recommended the following employer contribution rates for the Florida Retirement System (FRS):