From the Capitol

As part of the budget crafting process, Governor Rick Scott unveiled his 2016-2017 budget proposal on November 23rd.  While the Governor makes recommendations, it is the responsibility of the Florida Legislature to develop and pass a budget each year, which is then sent to the Governor for his consideration.  The Governor’s $79.3 billion proposed plan is a record annual amount of spending, surpassing the current year’s budget by $600 million.

The Governor presented his budget at a Jacksonville event which highlighted his commitment to tax relief.  While appearing at a sign manufacturing company, he announced his intention to seek $770 million in tax cuts affecting manufacturers.  Included in his proposal is the elimination of corporate income taxes on this sector and retail businesses, as well as a repeal of the 6% sales tax on the sale of manufacturing equipment.

The Governor supports a 10-day back-to-school shopping sales tax holiday, a 9-day disaster preparedness tax exemption, no increases to college or university tuition, and continued tax breaks on college textbooks.  Scott does not propose to replace the federal funding that Florida’s hospitals are losing as a result of changes in the Low Income Pool program.

 

Other highlights of the Governor’s proposal include:

 

   
New Enterprise Florida Fund Incentive Program $250.0 Million
Florida Department of Transportation $    9.9 Billion
Ports Development Projects $153.9 Million
Bike Trails & Pedestrian Walkways $  46.6 Million
K-12 Education Funding $  20.2 Billion
Early Learning Programs $    1.1 Billion
State University System $    4.8 Billion
State College System $    1.2 Billion
Amendment 1 Environmental Funding $905.0 Million
Public Safety Funding $    4.9 Billion

Additional information can be found here.

With the 2016 Legislative Session scheduled to begin on January 12th, the budget crafting process will continue as the Senate and House develop their own spending proposals.  We anticipate a very busy legislative session with many of the same issues from the 2015 Legislative Session under consideration. Our next edition will highlight priority items for the legislative leadership as well as items of interest.

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