Happy New Year! 2015 started with the inauguration of our Governor and the Cabinet officers to second terms. Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam were sworn into office on January 6th at a ceremony in front of the Old Capitol. The Legislature held committee meetings during that same week. This past week included another round of meetings, with more scheduled in February.
The budget forecast is looking stronger and stronger. Amy Baker, the State’s Chief Economist, predicts the State will take in a billion unforecast dollars this coming fiscal year. However, this translates to only $200 million more than the current fiscal year. Near-term population growth is projected to be 1.3%, which is down from the 3% annual average for the period of 1970-2010. Ms. Baker refers to this as “the new normal”. Florida is clearly recovering from the recession.