2018 state budget

Peter Haden / WLRN News

Ten years ago, before the financial crisis hit the state, there were 579 publicly funded beds for substance abuse treatment in Palm Beach County. Today there are around 179, and in the coming days that number will go down even further, according to Alton Taylor, the executive director of the Drug Abuse Foundation in Delray Beach, the county's largest provider of publicly funded substance abuse treatment beds.

News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE --- More than 100 bills that Gov. Rick Scott signed into law from the 2018 legislative session will take effect Sunday, including a new state budget that tops $88 billion.

Lawmakers sent 195 bills to Scott from the session that ended in March. The governor vetoed two, while signing the rest.

Of the signed measures, 105 will hit the books Sunday. Of the remainder, 54 went into effect upon Scott’s signature, with the rest effective in October or in 2019.

Among the measures slated to take effect Sunday:

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting and the state’s new law that requires armed security on every campus, some superintendents worry districts will now be competing for the same personnel.

For the 2016-17 school year, Florida’s Department of Education counted about 1,500 officers. But there’s more than twice as many public schools — about 3,800.

Miami Herald

For the first time in decades, Florida lawmakers passed new limits on guns. They also approved a record-breaking state budget. Gov. Rick Scott signed the $88.7 billion budget into law on Friday.

 

The budget includes $400 million for school safety and mental health counseling as part of a historic bill in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. It increases overall public education funding, but not by much in big school districts like those in South Florida.

 

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.

The Florida legislative session is heading into overtime after a disagreement over how to fund hospitals stalled negotiations. The two chambers reached an agreement Wednesday how to reimburse the facilities for treating low income and uninsured patients.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Democrats in the state House of Representatives are employing a more aggressive strategy in fighting Republicans’ education priorities this year after they felt like they got burned by the chamber’s GOP leadership during the last legislative session.

Steve Cannon / AP via Miami Herald

The Florida Senate wants to see state universities get another funding boost in the next state budget, while leaders of the state House of Representatives say public higher education has been “overfunded” and is ripe for cuts.

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