May 26th, 2017
The $82.4 billion state budget adopted by the Florida Legislature for Fiscal Year 2017-18 represents a .08 percent increase in a year that funding could have been appropriated to better meet the needs of Floridians. After adjusting for inflation and population growth, the new budget reflects a decrease of almost...
May 6th, 2017
While the budget and supporting legislation about to be passed by the Florida Legislature contain some positives, including additional funding for higher education, a salary increase for the state workforce and a major investment in the environment, the overall level of investment in Florida’s future leaves much to be desired.
May 4th, 2017
The U.S. House leadership’s health plan — the American Health Care Act (AHCA) — would put at risk low-income Florida seniors and adults with disabilities who rely on Medicaid as their sole access to affordable health care. Cutting Medicaid by $880 billion and capping its financing structure would jeopardize the complex health care needs of the most vulnerable Floridians. Although the share of seniors and adults with disabilities is a small percentage of the total Medicaid population, their per-enrollee cost of care is more than double their representation in the program, reflecting their complex and intensive medical needs.
May 3rd, 2017
Despite Florida’s economic recovery, almost half of Florida households have been left behind. These households struggle to survive on income less than that required for the most basic family survival budget. Fundamental changes in Florida’s job market and economy point to underlying weaknesses in the state’s jobs and growth strategy, offering some explanation as to why so many families are left behind. Lawmakers should stop relying on ineffective tax cuts and business subsidy policies and instead adopt commonsense policies that enable Floridians to earn their prosperity.
April 27th, 2017
Florida legislative budget proposals increase funding for transportation services marginally, but reduce funding for some core transportation categories. The current level of funding for transportation services is insufficient to meet growing state needs. Funding limitations impede state economic competitiveness and growth by making it harder for businesses, workers and consumers...
April 14th, 2017
The Florida Senate budget proposal — while better than the House’s budget — fails to provide sufficient support for Florida’s growing population. Proposed investments in higher education and the environment are high points of this proposal.
April 14th, 2017
The Florida House of Representatives began constructing the budget for 2017-18 under the presumption that the need for state services would exceed available funding in the following fiscal year. Accordingly, the House took a two-pronged approach to reducing its budget. First, it tightened the belts of state agencies. Since these agencies have not completely recovered from budget cuts during the recent recession, these cuts are a move in the wrong direction. Second, House leadership imposed fiscal discipline on representatives’ individual budget requests.
March 29th, 2017
Florida’s economy generates sufficient revenues to fund public services to meet state needs. However, a large portion of potential state revenues never enter state coffers because of loopholes in the state’s tax laws, resulting in future budget shortfalls. Instead of cutting the state budget in the name of fiscal conservatism, the state Legislature should adopt policies to close these loopholes and invest state revenues in needed services that benefit all Floridians and the economy.
March 15th, 2017
House Memorial (HM) 7033, which urges Congress to establish Medicaid block grants, includes multiple misstatements about the Medicaid program. Floridians deserve a thoughtful, fact-based Medicaid policy discussion before the Legislature acts to fundamentally change a program that provides a lifeline for 4 million Floridians. Anne Swerlick March 2017 The Florida...
March 1st, 2017
By eliminating categorical eligibility, House Bill (HB) 581 would cut food assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for more than 200,000 struggling children and families. Florida’s economic recovery has been uneven: more than 3 million Floridians are living in poverty, a figure that does not include those families...
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