February 6, 2002
Source: The Executive Office of the Governor
Governor Jeb Bush today announced his Supplemental Budget proposal for fiscal year 2002-03, targeting additional funds for Florida’s priorities. This proposed Supplemental Budget helps meet the most important needs of Florida’s citizens, specifically in the areas of services for the developmentally disabled, school readiness, prescription drug benefits for seniors, substance abuse initiatives and domestic violence.
"This has been a unique budget year, ending a special session to deal with the current budget and two weeks later unveiling a proposed budget for the new fiscal year," said Governor Bush. "When I announced my Executive Budget last month, I created a Governor’s Initiatives and Reserves Fund, to address additional priorities that still needed to be studied. Today’s proposal brings additional funding to priority areas where our state must continue to meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens and youngest students."
The Governor highlighted five priority areas in his supplemental budget proposal:
DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED--$162.6 MILLION
- Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities--Recommends an additional $90 million in general revenue and $72 million in federal funds to ensure the continued expansion of services for persons with developmental disabilities. These new funds will be used to serve the new wait list that has accumulated since 1999, provide personal needs and respite care, help redesign and update current program methodologies, and to cover funding shortfalls. One of Governor Bush’s highest priorities has been to provide a better system of care for people with disabilities.
- In total, the Governor’s budget recommends $1.01 billion for developmental services, a 14.6 percent increase over the current year funding and a 101 percent increase over the last four years. By June 2003, more than 39,000 developmentally disabled Floridians will have access to the full range of needed services and supports.
SCHOOL READINESS -- $41.4 MILLION
- School Readiness Program--Provides $41.4 million to the School Readiness Program in support of Governor Bush's top priority to increase student achievement. For the first time, the state will now be able to provide these services to all financially eligible four-year old children in Florida at 150 percent of the federal poverty level. This investment will allow us to offer services to up to 16,000 more children in the critical year before they enter kindergarten.
- In total, the Governor's budget recommends $719.1 million for School Readiness, an 8 percent increase over current year funding and a 37 percent increase over the past four years. As a result of the Governor's commitment to this program, almost 263,000 of Florida's most needy children will receive school readiness services.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFITS -- $32 MILLION
- Prescription Medications For Elders--Calls for a new program to provide prescription medications to Florida’s elder population on Medicare. Low to moderate income elders in Florida have had difficulty obtaining prescription drugs since Medicare does not provide this benefit. In order to address this critical problem, President Bush’s new budget includes a plan to provide states with federal matching funds to offer prescription drug coverage for elders. The federal government will pick up 90 percent of program costs for elders with incomes between 100 percent and 150 percent of the federal poverty level, and 58 percent of program costs (in Florida) for elders with incomes below 100 percent of federal poverty. If passed by Congress and the Florida Legislature, this new drug program will provide 245,000 Florida elders with a comprehensive prescription benefit at no cost to the participant.
- Efficiencies in Medicaid Prescription Program--Recommends $32 million in new state funds, which will draw down $319 million in federal funds, for this new program that will utilize efficiencies already incorporated into our current Medicaid prescription drug program including manufacturer rebates, the use of a preferred drug list, and an existing network of pharmacy providers and claims payment system.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE INITIATIVES--$13.8 MILLION
- Drug Courts-—Proposes restoring funding for Drug Courts in Pinellas and Brevard Counties that was reduced during the Special Session. Funding Drug Courts has been a critical component of the Governor’s Drug Control Strategy. Drug Courts provide for the delivery of treatment services needed, coupled with potential criminal penalties and strong judicial involvement.
- Substance Abuse Family Intervention and Support Services--Recommends additional funding for substance abuse issues, focusing on the Governor’s three principles for reducing illegal drug abuse by 50 percent in Florida in fi ve years: Prevention, Treatment and Law Enforcement. He proposes $2,176,340 in federal funds to expand substance abuse family intervention case management and support services for families involved with the protective services system. These funds will be allocated statewide and used to contract with private nonprofit providers for services. This funding will provide support for an additional 1,225 families and 1,543 individuals in those families.
- Waiting Lists--Recommends reducing waiting lists for treatment by providing $7,722,697 in federal funds to purchase existing treatment capacity of 175 beds statewide and expanding after-care and drug court services. Funding provides care for an additional 4,107 adults and 3,637 children in need of substance abuse services. As of August 2001, Florida had 33 operational and seven planned adult drug courts, 17 operational and four planned juvenile drug courts, eight operational and five planned dependency drug courts, and two reentry drug court programs.
- Out-Patient Substance Abuse Treatment--Proposes significant investments in treatment for criminal offenders under community supervision. The Governor recommends fully restoring all reductions from Special Session C for residential and out-patient substance abuse treatment for these offenders. This recommendation will provide for an additional 28,765 outpatient treatment slots and an additional 1,438 residential treatment slots in FY 2002-03. The Executive Budget submitted in January 2002 restores $2 million to outpatient treatment services and $5.3 million for residential treatment services. This supplemental request addresses the balance of the reduction by funding $2 million in out-patient services and $1.1 million in residential services for a total of $3.1 million. (See attached charts for 4-year funding breakdown.)
- In total, the Governor’s budget recommends $281.5 million for substance abuse programs for a $14.8 million, or 5.6 increase over the current year and an increase of $113.8 million or 68 percent over the last four years.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE -- $8.6 MILLION
- Domestic Violence Centers--Recommends an additional $5 million to support Florida’s 38 certified domestic violence centers. This is in addition to the $2 million proposed in the Governor’s FY 2002-03 budget.
- Domestic Violence Program Operations--Provides $800,000 to help operate domestic violence programs of emergency shelters, hotline services, counseling, child assessments, case management, information and referral, community education and professional training.
- Elimination of Filing Fees for Judicial Protective Orders--Provides for the elimination of all filing fees for judicial protective orders to help ensure that everyone has access to the courts to seek protection from domestic violence. Current law authorizes a filing fee up to $50 to for protective-order petitions. To hold sheriffs and court clerks financially harmless for eliminating this fee, the supplemental budget recommends $2.3 million for reimbursement of costs incurred in processing petitions for these injunctions.
- Domestic Violence Advertising Campaign--Proposes $500,000 for a public service domestic violence campaign to advertise the penalties authorized by the Family Protection Act of 2001 to prevent and reduce domestic violence. This domestic violence initiative was Governor Bush’s top criminal-justice initiative last year. The Act authorized a 5-day mandatory jail term for domestic-violence crimes for the first time in Florida.
- In total, Governor Bush’s four-year commitment is $43.4 million for domestic violence programs, an $8.6 million or 24.8 percent increase over the current year funding. It includes $11 million for capital improvements to domestic violence shelters over four years. Governor Bush is the first governor to fund capital grants for domestic violence shelters as well as the first governor to fund a domestic violence advertising campaign.
The Legislature will now have the ability to use these supplemental appropriations as a guide when they begin crafting the new budget.
The Governor’s 2002-03 Executive Budget and Supplemental Budget can be found online at www.myflorida.com.