December 5th, 2017
Florida should establish a bipartisan, intergovernmental criminal justice task force during the 2018 legislative session to examine the major drivers of prison population growth and costs, and develop evidence-based, data-driven policies to enhance public safety. The task force recommendations would serve as the basis for major criminal justice reform legislation.
November 7th, 2017
Recent proposals to impose work and premium requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries pose a significant threat to health coverage for the most vulnerable Floridians. They would also add new costs and uncompensated care burdens for state and local governments, safety net providers and privately insured residents.
August 4th, 2017
Federal efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have, so far, been unsuccessful. However, it is important to examine the implications of what has been at the core of multiple bills pushed by leadership in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives —namely, the cutting and capping of Medicaid — as similar language is likely to emerge in future iterations of health care bills.
July 11th, 2017
The goal of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is to move families from dependence on government assistance to economic self-sufficiency by providing participants with temporary cash assistance for basic needs, subsidized child care and employment/employability supports. Since TANF is administered as a federal block grant program, Florida has flexibility in the allocation of funds to permissible purposes. However, this flexibility has led to the growing diversion of funds to programs and services that are outside of TANF’s core welfare reform activities, resulting in fewer resources being allocated for services that would help families become economically self-sufficient.
June 28th, 2017
The $82.1 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18 represents a 1 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 3 percent in support for needed services. Economic growth and prosperity requires a more substantial strategic investment in opportunities for working families.
June 26th, 2017
Governor Scott vetoed $11.5 billion in public school funding — which was restored after lawmakers agreed to an increase in per-pupil funding in special session — as well as $409 million in other appropriations throughout the budget. Even though the governor worked with the Legislature to increase public school funding by $100 per student, the additional $215 million still leaves public schools below the per-student funding level appropriated a decade ago.
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.
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