Florida Senate President Bill Galvano reassured senators Thursday that significant cuts to the state budget should not be necessary at this time.
Though tax revenue will likely drop sharply in response to the large-scale economic shutdown, Galvano said the budget for the current fiscal year, which runs through June 30, should be able to accommodate the state’s spending on coronavirus response so far, and he doesn’t anticipate the need for major reductions to the 2020-21 budget.
In his memorandum to senators, Galvano said fiscal responsibility in prior years, a budget reserve of over $2 billion and anticipated federal aid should protect the state from financial shortfalls during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on initial reviews of the anticipated $2 trillion federal aid and stimulus package, senate staff estimate $12 billion for Florida’s state and local governments — $4.6 billion to stabilize the state budget and $3.7 billion for local budgets— and an additional $3.7 billion for specific programs in the state budget.
Galvano said earlier decisions to curb spending has prepared the state for these circumstances.
“We are now facing a tremendous challenge, and while the full range of impacts associated with COVID-19 is unknown, due to the fiscal responsibility we have exercised in prior years, Florida is financially prepared to successfully weather the uncertain times before us. “