Florida 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.

John Teets / Miami Herald

What will Florida do with a $4.1 million grant earmarked for homeless organizations across the state? Nothing, apparently.

Archive / Miami Herald

Miami-Dade County schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho hopes better academic performance will mean more money from the state legislature.

Carvalho and school board members highlighted the district’s improving state test scores during a press conference Friday at the school board building. Students in Miami-Dade are outperforming their peers in other urban school districts across the state.

Oral arguments have been scheduled for late August in a Florida Supreme Court case challenging Gov. Rick Scott’s vetoes of pay raises for firefighters employed by the state.

Florida’s 98,000 incarcerated citizens had a voice today at the Florida Department of Corrections public hearing. Prisoner support groups gathered for three hours to implore the department to reconsider a proposed visitation policy change.

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.

Superintendents Say Florida Budget Money May Not Cover Resource Officers

Mar 27, 2018

A new report from Florida’s school superintendents warns that despite a nearly $100 million increase in funding, there may not be enough money to post an armed school resource officer at each school in the state.

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.

Florida lawmakers will need to go into overtime because of an impasse about hospital spending in final negotiations over a new state budget. 

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