Florida state budget (2010-2011)

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The Florida State Legislature passed the $70.4 billion FY2011 Florida state budget on April 30, 2010, the deadline for doing so.[1][2] State analysts estimate that the state faces a budget deficit for 2011-12 of approximately $2.5 billion,[3] which was down considerably from previous forecast of a $6 to $8 billion shortfall.[4]

The state received $1.3 billion from the federal government under HR 1586, a $26 billion plan to give states money for Medicaid and education that the President signed into law on August 10, 2010.[5][6]

Going into FY 2011 Florida had a total state debt of $31,840,545,002 when calculated by adding the total of outstanding debt, pension and OPEB UAAL’s, unemployment trust funds and the 2010 budget gap.[7]

2011 State spending & deficit in billions[8]
Total spending Pension Healthcare Education Welfare Protection Transport Debt Budget gap
$59.1 $6.7 $21.7 $9.4 $7.7 $4.9 $5.9 $39.4 $3.5
2011 Local spending & deficit in billions[8]
Total spending Pension Healthcare Education Welfare Protection Transport Debt
$95 $1.2 $9.7 $34.9 $3.6 $12.7 $7.9 $95

FY2011 State Budget

Find the state’s FY2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) compiled by the state government here.

The Legislature's Office of Economic and Demographic Research and other experts predicted that Florida would face a budget deficit for 2011-12 of approximately $2.5 billion.[3] State economists increased the forecast for general revenue, which came mostly from sales tax collections, by $260 million, or 1.1%, for the FY2011 in August 2010.[3]

The Florida State Legislature passed the $70.4 billion FY2011 Florida state budget on April 30, 2010, the deadline for doing so.[1][2] The FY2011 budget was $4 billion larger than the prior year's state budget.[9] The Florida State Legislature struggled to plug a revenue shortfall of $3.2 billion.[2] The House approved the measure by a vote of 77-43, with most Democrats opposed, and Senate approved the budget by a vote of 33-4.[10]

Sources of Funds

The budget did not include a tax increase and did not increase state fees.[10] Instead, funds came from other sources. The budget was bolstered by $2.6 billion in federal stimulus money[11], one third of which was allocated to public schools.

The budget transferred a total of $506.9 million in trust fund money into the general revenue pot, with $160 million coming from the state transportation trust fund and $148.4 million from the local government housing trust fund.[1] Also helping lawmakers offset a $3.2 billion shortfall was $433 million from the Seminole gambling compact and $270 million lawmakers expected from the extension of federal Medicaid spending.[10] Medicaid spending accounted for one quarter of the FY2011 state budget.[10]

Federal Funds

The state expected to receive $800 million for Medicaid and $555 million for education as a result of the August 2010 federal stimulus. The Legislature included the Medicaid money in the FY2011 state budget on a contingent basis. Gov. Crist said that the education money would be enough to employ more than 9,100 teachers.[12]

State Employees

The budget included no pay cuts or raises for state employees.[1] State employees' base pay did not increase for the five previous years.[10] The House proposed to cut state worker payroll costs by 3 percent but that measure did not succeed.[13] A proposal requiring public employees to contribute to their pension fund in light of a large deficit also failed.[10] In addition, state employees who were previously exempt from paying health insurance premiums under the new budget would pay $100 a year for individual coverage and $360 a year for family coverage.[11] State employee copayments also rose.[11]


Universities The University of Florida received a 5.4% increase over the previous year in the FY2011 state budget for an $889.8 million budget.[14] The budget also increased tuition at state universities by 8% and permited schools to raise tuition an additional 7%, amounting to 15 percent tuition increase. One-third of the optional increase was directed to help with need-based aid.[11] Bright Futures scholarships were cut by $1 per credit hour.[9]

K-12 Education Average per pupil spending was increased by $1.22.[1] Overall, the FY2011 budget increased total state school funding by $849 million[1], with the total state budget for K-12 totaling $18.1 billion.[9]


Medicaid accounted nearly one-third of the $70.4 billion budget.[15]

Medicaid services were not cut, but legislators reduced Medicaid reimbursement rates to nursing homes and hospitals by 7%.[9] Healthy Families, a state program that provides in-home counseling to struggling and at-risk parents, was cut by about $10 million, although a last-hour $2 million infusion prevented an even larger reduction.[9]


The budget left $1.4 billion in reserves, with the Lawton Chiles Endowment, a fund used to pay for children's health programs, accounting for $600 million of those reserves.[9] If additional federal funding to the states for Medicaid comes through, expected to be $600 million to $800 million, Florida lawmakers would funnel most of it to the reserves.[9]


Florida had a $66.5 billion state budget for FY 2009-2010, passed by the Florida State Legislature on May 8, 2009[16] and signed by Gov. Charlie Crist on May 27, 2009.[17] Gov. Crist line-item vetoed two provisions, a 2% pay cut on state workers and a transfer of $6 million from the concealed weapons trust fund.[18] The budget included an increase in tobacco taxes ($1 per pack of cigarettes) and $900 million by expanding gambling.[19] $4.7 billion was from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.[20] Florida was estimated to reveive $12.2 billion from ARRA over 3 fiscal years.[21]

The 2009-2010 budget included; $26 billion (39%) for Health/Human Services, $21.3 billion (32%) for Education, $9.3 billion (14%) for Natural Resources/Transportation/Economic Development, $5.2 billion (8%)Justice/Corrections, and $4.7 billion (7%) General Government.[22]

The Florida State Legislature had to meet in a special session in early January of 2009 before the regular session to close a $2.5 billion gap for 2008-2009 budget.[23] The Legislature reached a budget deal to close the then current budget year on January 11, 2009 with $1.2 billion in cuts and $1.6 billion in transfers and trims to leave a cusion of about $300 million going into the regular session.[24]

Florida's Director of the Office of Policy and Budget, Jerry L. McDaniel, sent out a memorandum on October 12, 2009 to the executives of state agencies advising them of an anticipated $2.6 billion shortfall for the upcoming 2010-2011 budget. While General Fund revenues expected limited growth, Medicaid and other expense increases would consume it.[25]

The 2010-2011 was the first fiscal year to see an increase in revenues for the General Fund, 6.8%, after 4 consecutive years of negative growth. An 8.2% revenue growth was projected for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.[26]

Budget background

See also:Florida state budget

"The budget development process had three major phases: agency requests, Governor’s recommendations and legislative adoption. Following instructions issued jointly by the Governor’s Office and the Legislature in July, state agencies begin developing long-range program plans and budget requests which lay out the programs and funding needs of each agency for the next fiscal year. By mid-October, these requests were submitted to the Governor for consideration in the recommended budget. The Legislature convenes in its regular session beginning in March. The budget passed by the Legislature was valid for one year, beginning each July 1, and ending on June 30."[27]

The 2010 regular Legislative Session was scheduled March 2, to April 30, 2010.[28] Article III, section 3(d) of the Florida State Constitution stipulates regular sessions shall not exceed 60 consecutive days and special sessions 20 days.[29]

Florida did not had a personal income tax.[30] See Florida state budget (2008-2009) for more information.

Budget Figures

Fiscal 2010 Tax Collections Compared With Projections Used in Adopting Fiscal 2010 Budgets (Millions)

Category Amount
Sales Tax Original Estimate 15,902
Sales Tax Current Estimate 15,967
Personal Income Tax Original Estimate NA
Personal Income Tax Current Estimate NA
Corporate Income Tax Estimate 1,508
Corporate Income Tax Estimate 1,730

Florida's Economy

According to data supplied by the State, these were some of the major economic areas concentrated in the state:[31]

  • International Trade (40% of all U.S. exports to Latin and South America pass through Florida)
  • Tourism - with 76.8 million visitors in 2004 (a record number), Florida was the top travel destination in the world. The tourism industry had an economic impact of $57 billion on Florida’s economy.
  • Space Industry - The space industry represents $4.5 billion of the state's economy. The average annual wage of aerospace workers was approximately $52,000. The number employed at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) alone was 15,000 and Florida ranks 4th among the states in overall aerospace employment with 23,000 jobs.
  • Agriculture – Florida leads the southeast in farm income. Florida produces about 75% of the U.S. oranges and accounts for about 40% of the world's orange juice supply.
  • Construction - This industry's strength results from the steady stream of new residents and visitors who were welcomed to Florida each year.
  • Services - growth in high tech, financial & back office operations
  • Software - many small, entrepreneurial companies
  • Health Technology (medical, biotech, laboratories)
  • University Research - more than $500 million per year in sponsored research at Florida universities
  • State Spending Per Capita 1998 - Florida Ranks 49th ($2,628)

The Tax Foundation declares that Florida's state and local tax burden had been among the nation's lowest. Estimated at 7.4% of income, Florida's state/local tax burden percentage was ranked 47th nationally, well below the national average of 9.7%. Floridians pay $3,441 per capita in state and local taxes.

  • Florida's 2009 Business Tax Climate Ranks 5th
  • Florida Levies No Individual Income Tax
  • Florida's corporate tax structure consists of a flat rate of 5.5 percent on all corporate income, which ranks 40th highest among states that tax corporate income. In 2006, state-level corporate tax collections (excluding local taxes) were $132.99 per capita and ranked 31st highest nationally.

Accounting principles

See also:Florida government accounting principles

The Auditor General is a constitutional officer appointed by the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee. His appointment must be confirmed by both houses of the Legislature. The department's audit reports were available online.[32][33]

Florida combined the offices of the State Treasurer and State Comptroller into the position of Chief Financial Officer after voters passed a constitutional amendment in November of 1998. The Chief Financial Officer oversees the Department of Financial Services. The Florida Legislature in 2002 merged the state Department of Insurance, Treasury and State Fire Marshal and the Department of Banking and Finance into the Department of Financial Services.[34]

Credit Rating Fitch Moody's S&P
Florida[35] AA+ Aa1 AAA

Budget Status, 2008-2009

As early as November of 2006, Florida had the second most foreclosures in the country with 95,862 homes foreclosed upon in just the third quarter of that year.[36] In November of 2007, Florida's government began withdrawing money from a multi-billion dollar investment pool that funded local cities and school districts over concerns of investments linked to subprime mortgages.[37] In 2007, Florida also began cutting spending in an effort to balance the budget.[38] A year later, in December of 2008, Florida only trailed Arizona in the number of foreclosures, and it implemented a voluntary, 45 day moratorium on home foreclosures.[39] Although this led to a 20% decline in foreclosures for January, 2009, the Florida foreclosure rate remains 1 in 214 homes.[39] The collapse of the housing sector was a major concern, particularly since it was predicted to continue on its downward spiral until 2010-2011.[40]

In addition to the far-reaching effects of the mortgage crisis, Florida faced long-term budget problems as a result of a decline in its major economic engines -- building, migration and tourism, which had all declined. State revenue had declined for three years in a row, and the new fiscal year beginning July 1, 2009, could be the fourth.[38] With the fall in property taxes, school districts remain underfunded.[38] Also, since Florida did not had an income tax, it relies heavily on sales tax, corporate tax and real estate transaction taxes, which had all declined.[38]

The following table provides a glimpse into state expenditures and gross domestic product from 2000 to the present.

Fiscal Year General Funds Expenditures Gross Domestic Product (Millions)
2001 $91,800[41] $497,423[42]
2002 $99,300[41] $522,719[42]
2003 $107,400[41] $559,021[42]
2004 $115,500[41] $607,284[42]
2005 $130,900[41] $670,237[42]
2006 $140,500[41] $716,505[42]
2007 $150,900[41] $734,519[42]
2008 $162,200[41] $753,000[41]

The 2008 Deficit-Elimination Package

On January 14, 2009, the Florida legislature passed a deficit-elimination package, in an effort to close the budget shortfall for 2008.[43] The plan included:

  • increases in traffic fines of $10 for every traffic ticket issued except for speeding tickets which went up by $25 and an elimination of an 18% discount on tickets for those enrolled in driver's improvement courses;[43]
  • a suspension in the environmental land program saving $4 million and canceling $250 million in bond sales;[43]
  • a 10.5% cut in Medicaid payments to nursing homes and a tax increase on nursing homes;[43]
  • a transfer of $400 million from a Rainy Day Fund, leaving about $250 million in the fund;[43]
  • a $466 million cut in education spending, an option for school administrators to volunteer for pay cuts and limiting the severance of teachers and administrators to one year;[43]
  • a 2% decrease in teacher's bonuses, saving the state $11 million;[43]
  • a 4% cut in aid to state universities and community colleges for a savings of $157 million;[43]
  • $700 million to be borrowed from a $1.2 billion endowment that invests money from tobbacco settlements for future use on healthcare programs;[43]
  • a $9.9 million cut in the state's public/private tourism agency, Visit Florida;[43]
  • a 5% cut in a program that helps people with developmental disabilities, including autism;[43]
  • an $190 million cut in a program that helps pay for low and moderate-income housing;[43]
  • an elimination of 1,400 state jobs[43]; and
  • a $3.75 million decrease in funding for cancer, cardiovascular, stroke and pulmonary diseases[43].

Stimulus Funds

In February of 2009, Governor Crist requested $2.3 billion in funds from the federal government.[44] Governor Crist stated, "I'm not a big-government fan, but there were times when government needs to help."[44] With President Obama's signing of the stimulus bill on February 17, 2009, Florida expectws to receive $12 billion in federal funds.[38] Governor Crist believes that the federal funds would be enough to avoid further spending cuts if the legislature approves an agreement allowing Seminole Indians to expand gambling at tribal casinos in exchange for paying the state millions of dollars per year for the freedom to did so.[38]

On March 8, 2009, The Miami Herald reported that the state was considering borrowing against the Florida Prepaid College Board, a fund into which parents pay in order to lock in tuition rates for their children's future college tuition.[45] Some believe that because the fund was guaranteed by the state, the state should be able to borrow against the $8.8 billion fund.[45] Others disagree arguing that the state did not had the right to borrow against the fund and further, that this was another example of "lawmakers pillaging savings accounts and special funds."[45]

State budget websites and analysis

Florida currently had some level of transparency, including Florida's Checkbook, an online spending database created by the state's Chief Financial Officer, Alex Sink.[46]

Certain public agencies had failed to comply with open records laws.[47]

See also: Evaluation of Florida state website

Economic stimulus transparency

  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 designated $787 billion to be spent throughout the U.S. Of that $787 billion stimulus package, it was estimated that 69%, or over $541 billion, would be administered by state governments.[48]
  • It was estimated that Florida would receive at least $7.7 billion in federal funding.[49]
  • Florida established an economic recovery website.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag Another of the listed projects provides Winter Haven Area Transit with five new buses at a cost of $2.4 million, despite the fact that buses carry two to three riders per hour, according to the City Commission’s liaison to the Transit authority.[50]


Florida Senate Bill 1796 "Directs the Legislative Auditing Committee to provide oversight and management of a state website providing information on governmental appropriations and expenditures" and "Requires the Executive Office of the Governor to establish a website providing information relating to each appropriation in the General Appropriations."[51] SB 1796 was signed by Governor Crist on May 27, 2009.[52]

Government tools

The following table was helpful in evaluating the level of transparency provided by a state spending and transparency database.

Criteria for evaluating spending databases
State Database Searchability Grants Contracts Line Item Expenditures Dept/Agency Budgets Public Employee Salary
Florida's Checkbook Y
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Red x.png

  • Florida's Checkbook was searchable, and was easy to navigate as it was categorized by type.[53]
  • Grants were available through a search for multiple years.[54]
  • Contracts were available through a search.[55] There was a vendor search, but you must search specific vendors.[56]
  • Line item expenditures were available on the annual financial report, but not on budgets.[57]
  • Department and agency budgets were available.[58]
  • Public employee salaries were not available.

Limitations and Suggestions

Florida's Checkbook should post employee salaries just as other state transparency sites (such as the Missouri Accountability Portal) did.

Support for creation of the database

The National Taxpayers Union urged Representatives to support House Bill 181, which would have created a spending transparency database.[59]

Americans for Tax Reform also urged for transparency and made a statement to the Florida Finance and Tax Committee.

See also

External links

Additional reading


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The St. Augustine Record "Florida's 2010 budget by the numbers" May 2, 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Tampabay.com "Florida House approves budget plan on party-line vote" April 1, 2010
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The St. Petersburg Times "Florida's state budget shortfall shrinks in new forecast" September 8, 2010
  4. West Orlando News "Florida Budget Deficit Close to $6B" Aug. 6, 2010
  5. Federal Fund Information for States “ARRA FMAP Extension & Education Jobs Fund Totals” Aug. 11, 2010
  6. H.R. 1586
  7. State Budget Solutions “States Hide Trillions in Debt” July 22, 2010
  8. 8.0 8.1 USA Spending, State Guesstimated* Government Spending
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 SunSentinel.com "Florida budget details" April 30, 2010
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Northescambria.com "Florida Approves Final Budget" May 2, 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 The Miami Herald "Florida legislative scorecard: What passed, what didn't" May 1, 2010
  12. The Miami Herald" Fla. expected to get $1.3 billion from jobs bill" Aug. 10, 2010
  13. "Florida budget negotiations in final stretch" April 25, 2010
  14. The Gainesville Sun "UF a big winner in state budget; gets 5.4% boost" May 2, 2010
  15. The Miami Herald "Scott's promise to cut taxes to face test" Jan. 20, 2011
  16. The Miami Herald, "House passes budget 75-43, sine die to come," May 8, 2009
  17. Gov. Crist Press Release, "Governor Crist Signs 2009-2010 Budget to Maintain Investments in Florida's Future," May 27, 2009
  18. Gov. Crist, "Veto Message," May 27, 2009
  19. The Miami Herald, "Crist signs budget but restores pay to state workers," May 27, 2009
  20. Foley & Lardner LLP, "Florida Government and Politics Weekly Update," February 23, 2009
  21. Gov. Crist Web site, "The People's Budget," accessed October 14, 2009
  22. Florida Department of Education, "2009-2010 Education Budget," May 19, 2009
  23. Gov. Crist," "The Crist / Kottkamp Administration Fiscal Year 2009-10 Budget Recommendations," accessed October 14, 2009
  24. The Miami Herald, "Budget deal done with $2.8b plan. Session to end Weds," January 11, 2009
  25. Jerry L. McDaniel, Director Office of Policy & Budget Memorandum, “FY 2010-2011 Legislative Budget Requests,” October 12, 2009
  26. Legislative Budget Commission, "Long-Range Financial Outlook Fiscal Year 2010-11 through 2012-13," September 15, 2009
  27. Gov. Crist, "Budget Process Overview," accessed October 14, 2009
  28. Florida State Legislature, 2010 Session Dates," accessed October 14, 2009
  29. Online Sunshine, "Florida State Constitution," accessed October 14, 2009
  30. State of Florida.com, accessed October 14, 2009
  31. State of Florida
  32. Florida Auditor General Web site, accessed October 14, 2009
  33. audit reports
  34. Florida Department of Financial Services Web site
  35. California State Treasurer, “Comparison of Other States’ General Obligation Bond Ratings”
  36. Foreclosurelistings.com, Florida Ranks Second Among States with Most Foreclosures, November 13, 2006
  37. New York Times, Fund Crisis in Florida Worrisome to States, December 5, 2007
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 38.4 38.5 More spending cuts likely for Florida budget, February 18, 2009
  39. 39.0 39.1 Tampa Bay's 10 Connects.com, 1 in 214 Florida Homes in Foreclosure, February 12, 2009
  40. Pending homes sales drop nationwide, recovery expected in 2011, November 5, 2010
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 41.4 41.5 41.6 41.7 41.8 US Government Spending, Florida State and Local Spending, 1992-2010
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 42.3 42.4 42.5 42.6 Iowa Workforce, Florida
  43. 43.00 43.01 43.02 43.03 43.04 43.05 43.06 43.07 43.08 43.09 43.10 43.11 43.12 43.13 "$2.8B Florida budget deficit plan gets final approval," January 15, 2009
  44. 44.0 44.1 The Voyager, College Media Network, State budget cuts continue, January 29, 2009
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 "Gov. Charlie Crist opposes raid on Florida prepaid tuition assets," March 11, 2009
  46. "Florida's Checkbook"
  47. Sun Sentinel, "Many Florida public agencies flunk simple open records test," November 28, 2008
  48. National Taxpayers Union, "A Letter to the Nation's Governors: Ensure Transparency and Accountability by Posting Stimulus Expenditures Online," March 10, 2009
  49. Wall Street Journal, "Stimulus Spending by State"
  50. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named blues
  51. Florida Senate, "Senate 1796: Relating to Governmental Financial Information," accessed June 16, 2009
  52. Office of the Governor, "Governor Crist's Bill Actions Today," May 27, 2009
  53. Florida's Checkbook
  54. [1]
  55. Contract Search
  56. Vendor Payment Search
  57. CAFR 2009
  58. Florida Financials
  59. National Taxpayers Union, "An Open Letter to the Florida House of Representatives: Taxpayers Support Online Spending Transparency (HB 181)," March 14, 2008