Florida Senate Budget Proposal Tops 8 Billion

Florida Senate Budget Proposal Tops $108 Billion

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida’s spending plan would hit a record $108.6 billion under a proposal rolled out Friday by the Senate.

Far surpassing the roughly $100 billion budget during the current fiscal year, the Senate proposal (SPB 2500) includes such things as a $1.46 billion increase in the main funding formula for public schools, $1.7 billion for prison construction and money for state workers raises that would bring minimum pay to $15 an hour, according to a Senate summary.

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“We are making significant infrastructure investments in public safety, clean water and Everglades restoration, including northern storage ASR (aquifer storage and recovery) wells, as well as preservation and expansion of Florida’s iconic wildlife corridor,” Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, said in a prepared statement.

“We fully fund the DOT (Department of Transportation) work program and continue the infrastructure planning efforts we started last year, which provide a steady stream of funding to affordable housing, wastewater, and mitigating sea-level rise.”

Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, said per-student spending in public schools would go from $2,486 to $3,294, while pay for officers in the state correctional system would hit at least $20 an hour.

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The proposal is an important initial step as the Senate prepares to negotiate a budget with the House for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, which will start July 1.

Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed a $99.7 billion spending plan, but that number did not include what is known as “back of the bill” proposals about issues such as pay raises, transportation projects, and domestic security grants.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will take up the Senate proposal Wednesday.

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