Flush with cash, Florida lawmakers on Tuesday released a $117 billion budget for the fiscal year that will start July 1.
The record budget would be about $7 billion larger than the spending plan for the current fiscal year. House and Senate negotiators finished working out details Monday. Tuesday’s release triggered a 72-hour “cooling off” period that will end with the House and Senate voting on the budget Friday, the final day of the annual legislative session.
The budget then will go to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has line-item veto power.
“Our budget is a fiscally responsible, balanced approach to making key investments in our environmental, housing, and transportation infrastructure and our clean water resources, while maintaining a historic rainy day fund that ensures we remain prepared to tackle any future challenges that may face our state,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, said in a prepared statement Tuesday.
Among other things, the budget includes $26.7 billion for the Florida Education Finance Program, the main funding source for public schools; $47.3 billion for health and human services programs; and 5 percent across-the-board pay raises for state workers, with some employees eligible for additional increases. The budget is bolstered, in part, by higher-than-expected tax revenues.