On November 14th, Governor Rick Scott unveiled his final recommended budget for 2018-2019 which he called the “Securing Florida’s Future” budget. The Governor’s budget recommendations total $87.4 billion and include $180 million in proposed tax cuts and increased spending in education, infrastructure and the environment. The Governor’s recommendations will be considered by the Legislature in the upcoming legislative session which begins on January 9th.
Of particular importance, the following specific budget recommendations support BioFlorida’s 2018 governmental affairs priorities:
- The Governor’s Budget recommends $85 million in continuation funding for the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. This Fund provides grants for approved local initiatives specifically designed to support broad-based economic growth by improving infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and water/wastewater systems. The fund also supports Florida’s growing workforce by providing grants for job training and skills enhancement in targeted growth industries. The Governor’s recommended budget also proposes more than $43 million to continue and maintain the incentives for Florida businesses who are meeting their contractual requirements for creating jobs and making capital investments. This funding is provided for economic development programs including: Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund; Defense Contractor Tax Refund; and Brownfield Redevelopment Tax Refund.
- The budget invests more than $143 million for Florida’s economic development public-private partnerships, including $100 million in marketing dollars for VISIT FLORIDA, $19.5 million for operations and job creation funding for Space Florida and $23.7 million for the operations of Enterprise Florida.
- The budget proposes funding of $10 million each for the James and Ester King Biomedical Research Program and the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program.
- The budget recommends $2 million for endowed cancer research in Florida.
- The budget invests over $62.2 million for the Florida Consortium of National Cancer Institute Centers Program which directs funding to H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Florida Health Shands Cancer Hospital.
- The Governor recommends $5 million in continued funding for the Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program.
Other items of note include:
- Governor Scott’s $180 million tax-cut package includes: Sales Tax Holidays totaling $88 million – These sales tax holidays include: $73 million for a 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday; and $15 million for three one-week disaster preparedness sales tax holidays which would take place in May, June and July.
- Reduction in Driver’s License Fees to Save Floridians $88 million – Governor Scott is proposing to reduce the fees for driver’s licenses. These fees were increased in 2009, prior to Governor Scott taking office. These fee cuts include: $67 million saved by reducing the fee for a renewal of regular driver’s licenses by more than 58 percent from $48 to $20; and $21 million saved by reducing the fee on original regular driver’s licenses by more than 43 percent from $48 to $27 and the fee on an original or renewal Commercial Driver’s License by more than ten percent from $75 to $67.
Reduction in Traffic Citation Fines to Save Floridians $4 million – Governor Scott is proposing to reinstate the 18 percent reduction of eligible traffic citation fines, which was repealed in 2009 prior to Governor Scott taking office, for individuals who attend a basic driver improvement school.
For more specifics on the Governor’s recommended budget, visit the following links:
to view the Securing Florida’s Future Budget highlights.
to view the Securing Florida’s Future Budget FAQ.
to view the Securing Florida’s Future Budget complete budget.
to view specific budget recommendations that support BioFlorida’s 2018 governmental affairs priorities.