Florida budget

Superintendents Say Florida Budget Money May Not Cover Resource Officers

Mar 27, 2018

A new report from Florida’s school superintendents warns that despite a nearly $100 million increase in funding, there may not be enough money to post an armed school resource officer at each school in the state.

Gov. Rick Scott has signed the $88.7 billion state budget, and stakeholders in education are crying foul.  Superintendents, teachers unions and gubernatorial candidates fear cuts to K-12 programs. Now, they’re condemning Scott after calls for a veto and special session went unheeded.

Gov. Rick Scott quickly signed a new $88.7 billion state budget that boosts funding for K-12 education by $485 million. But many district superintendents say the package still shortchanges schools.

Superintendents from around the state are petitioning Gov. Rick Scott to hold a special session to address what they feel is a paltry increase to K-12 schools’ per-student funding.

Associated Press

In a rare Sunday overtime session, the Florida Legislature passed a budget of nearly $89 billion for next year to end a session that was overshadowed by the mass shootings in Parkland.

Lawmakers needed extra time to finish a budget after the mass shooting in Parkland forced them to quickly craft a response that included a three-day waiting period, a minimum age of 21 to buy a gun in Florida, and $400 million for mental health, school safety and a program that allows school personnel to carry concealed weapons.

Nursing Homes, Safety Net Hospitals Win In Budget

Mar 9, 2018
Steve Lambert / flickr

Nursing homes will get a $130 million bump in Medicaid payments, and residents who live in the facilities will get nearly a 25 percent increase in a monthly stipend they can use for personal needs, under a state budget deal finalized Thursday.

Under the spending plan, the state during the upcoming year would spend $37.1 billion across six state health-care and social-service agencies. Nearly $9.9 billion of that amount would be state general-revenue tax dollars, compared to the $9.4 billion during the current year.

Senate Poised To Approve Tax Package

Mar 9, 2018
Associated Press

The Senate is set Friday to approve a business-friendly tax package that would allow Floridians to buy tax-free clothes and school supplies during three days in August and tax-free hurricane gear at the start of June.

The $168.6 million package, if passed by the Senate, would still have to go back to the House for approval before the end of the legislative session, now likely to be Sunday. The Senate on Thursday made changes to a House bill (HB 7087) to offer shorter tax “holidays” and a smaller cut in a business-lease tax.

JMV0586 / FLICKR

Florida Supreme Court justices are in line for a 24 percent pay raise in the new state budget.

The 2018-2019 budget, which is expected to be approved Sunday, would provide $42,180 raises for the seven justices on the state’s highest court, increasing their salaries to $220,600.

Lawmakers said a factor in the raise is that three vacancies will have to be filled in January as longtime justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince leave the bench because of a mandatory retirement age.

Florida lawmakers will need to go into overtime because of an impasse about hospital spending in final negotiations over a new state budget. 

Courtesy

Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon wants to create a $10 million program that would reimburse trauma centers for care provided to victims of mass shootings, and Senate President Joe Negron said he will support the effort. 

Braynon wants to create a fund in the Attorney General’s Office, with money coming from a portion of fees collected from new or renewed concealed-weapons licenses. The program would reimburse trauma centers that treat victims of mass shootings, such as the Feb. 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 people dead. 

Nursing Homes Get Boost In Senate Budget

Jan 25, 2018

Nursing homes would get a nearly 4 percent increase in what they are paid to treat frail, elderly Floridians, while $318 million in Medicaid funding would be redistributed among the state’s hospitals, under a proposed spending plan released Wednesday by a Senate budget panel.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Just months after seeing the budget for the state tourism marketing agency cut to $75 million amid a cantankerous political fight, Gov. Rick Scott is asking again for a major boost.

Property Tax Money Could Be Key In Education Budget

Dec 8, 2017

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart told a Senate budget panel Thursday that funding would be “woefully short” next year if lawmakers do not use an increase in property tax collections to support schools.

Gov. Rick Scott stopped at a Tampa elementary school Monday morning, touting what he called a record budget for education. Scott may not get what he wants from lawmakers, but he vowed to push forward, anyway.

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