Governor Ron DeSantis has released a 2021-22 Budget Proposal totaling nearly $96.6 billion, an increase of over $4.3 billion compared to his 2020-21 proposal. COVID-related expenses comprise more than $2.6 billion of the increase.
While the Governor’s budget proposal exceeds the current fiscal year budget, it does include reductions of more than $1 billion over the current fiscal year, of which $876.3 million is in General Revenue and $228.3 million is in trust funds.
Of note, the budget proposes allocations in the following categories:
- $50M for the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to support local infrastructure and job training projects targeted towards economic recovery and development
- $50 million for the Economic Development Transportation Fund,” also known as the “Road Fund,” which will provide funding for projects to facilitate economic development by eradicating location-specific transportation problems
- $21 million for Enterprise Florida, including an additional $5 Million to support targeted campaigns that market the opportunities available in Florida for businesses to realize economic and job growth in the state
- $50 million for Visit Florida holding the line from the current budget
- $4.7 for Florida Sports Foundation
- $22.8 billion for K-12 public school funding, bringing per-student funding to $8,019, exceeding the current year’s allocation by $233 per student
- $550 million to continue raising the minimum K-12 teacher salary to $47,500 and allot for salary increases for eligible personnel
- $16 billion for other public education expenses, including grants and workforce education
State Colleges and Universities
- $1.26 billion for state colleges, down by about $18.9 billion from the current fiscal year budget
- $5.2 billion for state universities, down by $22 million from the current fiscal year budget
- $50 million for Springs restoration
- $145 million for targeted water quality improvements
- $40 million for alternative water supply
- $423 million for housing programs administered by local governments and the Florida Housing Finance Company. These programs are funded by the Sadowski Trust, which was projected to generate $350 for the current fiscal year (in addition to the more than $250 million to address affordable housing needs and the increase in homelessness due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19)
- $9 million for a 10-day Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday for Florida Families
- $56 million for an 8-day Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday
- $110 million for mental health programs in Florida’s schools, an increase of $10 million over current year funding.
- More than $31 million for adults and children who suffer from mental illness and emotional disturbances
As a reminder, the Governor’s budget proposal is just that – proposal. A few weeks after the legislative session begins in March, the Senate and House will also release their respective budget proposals, and the three budgets will undergo conferencing and reconciliation in the weeks leading up to session’s end, currently slated for early May.