BUSH ANNOUNCES 2004-2005
Executive Office of The Governor
~Fiscal stewardship grows budget, increasing opportunity
and security for Floridians~
- Governor Jeb Bush today unveiled the Bush/Jennings Administration's
Executive Budget Recommendations for Fiscal Year 2004-2005, demonstrating
the Administration's ongoing commitment to funding the state's priorities
while providing Floridians the best possible return on their tax dollars.
The budget invests in Florida's future with funding for key programs
for education, economic development and services to strengthen Florida's
families, while holding the line on overall spending growth.
"I thank the Legislature for its fiscal restraint and discipline
in difficult economic times. Through this resolve, we have built a
prosperous economy that has yielded increasing state revenues, allowing
us to support Florida's many budget priorities. The budget I propose
today focuses those dollars on our continuing commitment to education,
on helping our most vulnerable and on creating stronger families and
safer communities," said Governor Bush. "While we should
applaud our fiscal success, we must recommit ourselves to the principles
that brought us here. With this in mind, I present my recommendations
for the upcoming budget year, and I look forward to working with the
Legislature on these issues in the coming months."
Florida's Fiscal Year 2004-2005 budget would grow by 2.6 percent,
well below projected personal income growth. The Governor recommends
an overall increase of $1.4 billion for a total of $55.4 billion.
That figure includes $23.8 billion in general revenue and approximately
$3 billion in reserves. Governor Bush attributed the state's budget
growth to fiscal stewardship in recent years and to a climate of economic
growth. However, he warned that to ensure the state's economic future,
the state cannot spend more than it receives.
Governor Bush and Lt. Governor Toni Jennings also advocated for reforms
to restrain the growth in the Medicaid budget and highlighted other
budget uncertainties related to the implementation of constitutionally
mandated initiatives. To demonstrate the impact of these increasing
costs, the Governor pointed to Florida Medicaid's $13.8 billion total
budget this year. The $1.1 billion increase this year brings Medicaid
funding to almost a quarter of the entire state budget. Medicaid costs
are rising at an average of nearly 11.7 percent a year, with the overall
cost of the program nearly doubling in the last six years. If this
trend continues, Medicaid costs will triple in the next decade. Governor
Bush also pointed to the 108.6 percent increase in operating costs
for class size, bringing the two-year cost to $1.4 billion, not including
millions more in capital costs. By the tenth year, the state is estimated
to spend $2.3 billion a year to cover operating costs related to this
amendment. Adding to Florida's future budget dilemma is the high-speed
rail amendment which could cost as much as $11.3 billion for Phase
I and II implementation.
"This year, we stand in the eye of the hurricane," Governor
Bush said. "We have emerged from the stormy fiscal conditions
of previous years, but even more severe budget conditions threaten
our long-term fiscal future. Skyrocketing budget demands for health
care, education and high-speed rail could greatly hinder our ability
to fund the priorities that are important to Floridians."
Bush and Lt. Governor Jennings' Recommended budget for Fiscal Year
K-12: Governor Bush recommends $15.9 billion for public schools.
This is a $1 billion, or 7.12 percent, increase for K-12 education.
Governor Bush has increased education funding by $4.8 billion,
or 43 percent, in the past six years.
Student Funding: The Governor's budget recommends a total
of $6,100 (a 4.85 percent increase per student). These increases
also fully cover the estimated 55,000 new students who will enter
the public school system next year. During the past six years,
per student funding has increased more than $1,000 per student,
or 25 percent.
Initiatives: The Bush/Jennings Administration recommends $143.5
million in state and federal funding for Just Read, Florida! and
other reading initiatives, a $23.2 million increase over the current
Coaches: Part of the reading initiative increase includes
$13 million to put 240 reading coaches in Florida's lowest performing
middle schools, supporting the Middle Grades Reform Initiative.
Total literacy support in public schools will place an approximate
1,010 reading coaches in elementary, middle and high schools.
Pre-Kindergarten: In 2002, Floridians voted to offer free,
high quality universal pre-kindergarten. The Universal Pre-Kindergarten
Advisory Council, which Lt. Governor Toni Jennings chaired, recently
released recommendations for providing a quality pre-kindergarten
experience. Governor Bush has recommended $9.6 million for the
professional development of 8,500 childcare workers to prepare
for the 2005 implementation of the initiative.
Colleges: Total funding for community colleges will be $1.5
billion, which includes a $104.5 million, or 7.6 percent, increase
in direct support to the colleges, the largest increase in 14
years. Also included in the budget recommendations are $22.3 million
for academic matching grants and another $8.5 million for facilities
challenge grants to fully fund the current backlog in these programs.
Universities: The Bush/Jennings budget recommendations also include an increase
of $144.1 million in direct support to our universities, including
$131.4 million to support additional student enrollment and $10
million to address critical areas of need in Florida. In addition,
$20 million is provided to create two new Centers of Excellence
at Florida universities. The Governor also recommends $25 million
to match private donations to state universities for academic
Welfare: This year's budget includes nearly $1 billion for
child welfare programs, a 136 percent increase since Fiscal Year
1998-99. This represents a $47 million net increase over Fiscal
Year 2003-04. The Bush/Jennings Administration's Executive Budget
recommends $10 million in behavioral health care services for
children in residential group care, $30 million to continue the
transition of foster care services to community-based agencies,
$4 million to prevent child abuse and $6 million for contracts
with sheriffs for protective investigations.
Adoptions: In November, the No Place Like Home initiative
was launched to streamline the adoption process and increase adoptions
in our state. Governor Bush is recommending $128.8 million to
increase adoptions, $21 million more than current year funding.
Disabled: Funding for the developmentally disabled will increase
by $43.5 million for a total of $1.1 billion. Since Governor Bush
took office, funding for these programs has increased by $638
million. More than 32,000 Floridians are served through developmental
services programs. This funding will allow the state to serve
up to 3,200 additional people next year.
for Florida's Elders: Governor Bush proposes a $25.8 million
increase to help seniors maintain independence and avoid nursing
home care. The Bush/Jennings Administration recommends a $12.1
million increase for Nursing Home Diversion, and an $8.8 million
increase for the Medicaid Aged and Disabled Waiver for the elderly.
Also included in the budget recommendations is a $3.1 million
increase for Medicaid Assisted Living for the elderly and a $1.1
million increase for an Alzheimer's disease initiative. These
new funds will provide services for up to 3,300 frail elders.
Veterans: During the past six years, funding for veterans has increased
by 106 percent, including $48.4 million recommended for the next
fiscal year. The Executive Budget includes $631,000 for the planning
and development of Florida's sixth veterans' nursing home.
Medicaid: Governor Bush and Lt. Governor Jennings recommend fully funding
the projected increases in Medicaid costs for the coming year.
Their budget includes $13.8 billion for the state's Medicaid budget,
a $1.1 billion increase over last year. $526.1 million of the
state's funds will go to maintaining the current program, with
another $144.5 million in state funds allocated for prior year
KidCare: Governor Bush and Lt. Governor Jennings propose $3.2 billion in
total funding for KidCare. This funding will allow us to provide
health care coverage to 50,000 children through Medicaid. It also
includes an increase of $29.7 million to serve an additional 10,500
children currently on the waitlist for Healthy Kids, MediKids
and Children's Medical Services. Florida's KidCare program serves
1.6 million children today, 755,000 more than in 1998.
Abuse: Reducing drug abuse has been a priority for Governor
Bush. This year's proposal invests more than $193 million for
community prevention and treatment, restoring $9 million for prevention
treatment, as well as $8.5 million for treatment of Floridians
in our court system. It adds $5.6 million for prevention, treatment
and aftercare services. An additional $64.6 million is recommended
for offender prevention and treatment, a 23.8 percent increase
over current year funding. This restores $4.1 million for offender
outpatient and residential treatment and $8.3 million for in-prison
substance abuse programs.
Prevention: The Bush/Jennings Administration recommends $16
million for the Tobacco Prevention program, a $15 million increase
over current year funding. Florida has spent more than $222 million
on tobacco prevention programs since 1997-98, $22 million more
than originally earmarked. This year's recommendations make tobacco
prevention a permanent program in the Department of Health's budget.
Funded entirely with recurring dollars, the new program will now
be able to develop long-term plans and implement a multi-year
strategy. Recurring dollars will provide long-term stability
for the program. This new tobacco initiative will incorporate
and expand best practices identified during the six years of the
now ended Florida Tobacco Pilot Program.
Growth and Diversification: The Bush/Jennings Administration
recommends $129 million for economic development tools and incentives,
a 50 percent increase over the current year. This includes $11
million to fund Enterprise Florida. The budget also provides $25
million in new funding for the Quick Action Closing Fund to help
Enterprise Florida and local economic development organizations
secure major, highly competitive projects. Additionally, the Governor
recommends $21.7 million to promote Florida as a premier tourist
destination. Another $33.8 million is allocated to fund programs
that encourage, expand, retain and recruit business in key industries,
and $2.9 million is recommended for space business development.
and Defense: The military and defense industry adds $44 billion
annually to Florida's economy. Governor Bush and Lt. Governor
Jennings are committed to supporting the state's 21 military bases
and three unified commands, especially during the 2005 Base Realignment
and Closure (BRAC) process. The Bush/Jennings Administration has
included $7.4 million for programs designed to prepare Florida
for BRAC, a 27.6 percent increase. This includes $3 million new
dollars in defense infrastructure, $3.4 million continued for
military base protection and another $1 million continued in defense
Transportation: Governor Bush and Lt. Governor Jennings consider a well-designed
and well-maintained transportation system critical for economic
development. The Governor recommends investing $5.8 billion in
Florida's transportation work program, a 4.7 increase over current
funding. The budget represents $2.2 billion for new contract lettings,
one of the highest allocations in the state's history. Rural Counties:
Governor Bush's budget would invest $174 million in Florida's
rural counties. This is a 77 percent increase over current year
funding. $25 million would go to the Rural Transportation Program,
providing road resurfacing and capacity improvements related to
transportation. Additionally, the Governor has asked for $10 million
for Small Community Wastewater Treatment Grants, a 186 percent
increase over current funding. Another $5 million in new funding
will help rural counties meet infrastructure needs and other general
government funding needs. Governor Bush is also recommending an
additional $9 million next year to support schools in rural counties,
as well as $71.4 million for special education capital projects.
This includes $36.8 million for new construction projects and
$34.5 million for projects already underway. The Bush/Jennings
Administration also recommends $5 million in new funding for cultural
and historic projects in rural counties and $3 million in new
funding for public library assistance in those communities.
is Down: Under Governor Bush, Florida's index crime rate is
the lowest in 30 years. During the last six years, $1 billion
has been restored in retirement benefits for law enforcement officers
and firefighters. Disability compensation has increased by more
than 50 percent for special risk professionals injured in the
line of duty. In addition, the Governor has increased funding
for the Florida Highway Patrol by 25 percent since 1998-99.
Funding: During the last four years, the index crime rate
has dropped 21 percent in Florida, in part because convicted criminals
are now serving 85 percent of their sentences. Governor Bush has
instituted a 43 percent increase in prison funding over the last
six years. The Bush/Jennings Administration recommends $99.6 million
for new prison construction, to ensure state prisoners continue
serving 85 percent of their sentences and to help keep crime rates
7 Funding: Revision 7 to Article V of the Florida Constitution
transfers significant costs of the judicial branch from local
government to state government, lessening the burden on local
communities. Governor Bush has proposed $223 million for Revision
7 funding, including $3.7 million for 40 new judges and 40 new
support staff. The Governor's recommendations include $102.6 million
for state courts and $120.4 million for state attorneys, public
defenders, private attorneys fees in criminal and dependency cases,
due process legal costs and other related costs.
Security: Florida has invested $403.2 million in domestic
security funding, creating a model for the nation in homeland
security at the state level. Florida most recently received an
additional $92.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security to support Florida's first responders.
RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT:
Funding: Florida continues to meet its commitment to fully
fund its share of Everglades restoration. With the Bush/Jennings
budget proposal, more than $500 million will have been appropriated
during the past five years, ensuring the restoration continues
ahead of schedule and under budget. This year's recommendations
include $100 million in General Revenue funding. This funding
allows Florida to fully meet its financial obligations for restoration
while keeping the state in sound fiscal standing by limiting debt.
As a partner in this project, the South Florida Water Management
District will use the funds to acquire land, accelerate construction
projects, optimize Stormwater Treatment Areas and conduct feasibility
Florida Forever Program: The Governor and Legislature have
committed $300 million in each fiscal year since the Florida Forever
Act became law on July 1, 2001. The Bush/Jennings budget recommends
$300 million for this program, with $40 million paid in cash.
In the past, funding has been provided through bonding. This year's
proposal is in keeping with Governor Bush's desire to limit debt.
Since July 2001 more than 253,000 acres have been acquired under
Florida Forever. This is in addition to the 1.7 million acres
acquired through the Florida Preservation 2000 initiative. The
Florida Forever Act improved upon the Preservation 2000 program
by emphasizing better patterns of protection for ecosystems.
Initiatives: Governor Bush wants Florida to become an incubator
for alternative energy sources, which will foster growth, facilitate
economic development and protect our clean air and environment.
The Bush/Jennings budget includes $15 million in seed capital
to share the costs of installation and demonstration of hydrogen
fuel cells by Florida companies. These funds will make Florida
ready for next generation energy technology, and will help defray
the costs of creating mobile hydrogen fuel cells and fueling stations.
Keys: The Bush/Jennings budget proposal includes $18 million
for construction of local government wastewater systems in the
Florida Keys Area of Critical State Concern. Keys land conservation
is a priority of the Administration, and it is expected approximately
$90 million of existing Florida Forever funds could be used to
acquire environmentally sensitive land in the Florida Keys Area
of Critical State Concern in the next three years.
Springs Initiative: Governor Bush continues his commitment
to protecting Florida's springs by recommending an additional
$2.5 million in FY 04-05. This will bring the state's commitment
to the Florida Springs Initiative, which began in FY 01-02, to
$10 million. This important program protects and restores Florida's
33 first magnitude (largest) freshwater springs through the establishment
of spring discharge monitoring networks, water quality and biological
monitoring programs, best management practices, creation of private-public
partnerships, and the development of spring restoration action
Resource Protection: The Bush/Jennings budget recommends $178
million in grants and loans for drinking, storm and wastewater
projects. Recognizing the need to protect and restore Florida's
invaluable water resources, Governor Bush has consistently acted
to improve the process and the amount of funding for water restoration
and wastewater treatment projects. Since FY 00-01, more than $1.8
billion in state and federal funding will have been provided for
738 water restoration, drinking water, and wastewater projects
through out the state.
Protection: This year, the Executive Budget recommends $10.9
million for manatee protection, the fourth consecutive year that
Governor Bush has recommended record funding for manatee protection.
This brings the total funding for manatee protection to more than
$54 million since FY 99-00. The new funding will provide education
materials, support rulemaking activities, provide contractual
support to counties to develop manatee protection plans, and provide
staffing to review permits and leases.
and Historical Projects: This year, the Executive Budget recommends
$16 million, a 17.6 percent increase over current year, for cultural
and historical projects.
MORE EFFICIENT GOVERNMENT:
Within Our Means: Governor Bush and Lt. Governor Jennings
believe government should not grow more than the people's ability
to pay for it. For the past six years, state spending has grown
no faster than personal income growth, and the Fiscal Year 2004-2005
Executive Budget recommendations continue this important trend
of fiscal discipline. Governor Bush and Lt. Governor Jennings
call for limiting government growth to 2.6 percent and providing
$139 million in new tax relief. Through this philosophy, Florida's
economy will continue to grow, resulting in increased revenues
to the state.
Relief: Governor Bush and the Florida Legislature have aggressively
rolled back the tax increases of the 1990s. With the Governor's
FY 04-05 recommended budget, Floridians will have realized more
than $8.2 billion in tax relief over six years. The Bush/Jennings
budget provides a $48 million sales tax holiday, which includes
sales tax exemptions for clothing, books and school supplies.
The Governor also recommends $91 million for the Seniors and Savers
tax cut, which would begin the first of the three-year phase out
of the so-called intangibles tax.
Reserves: Budgetary reserves have more than doubled since
FY 1998-99, growing from $1.3 billion to just under $3.0 billion
in FY 2004-05. Of the $3 billion in current reserves, $999 million
is in the constitutionally established Budget Stabilization Fund
to serve as a last-resort buffer against major General Revenue
fund shortfalls and other emergency situations. In addition, the
Working Capital Fund, which is essentially unencumbered General
Revenue, is expected to be $194 million.
For more information on the Governor's budget recommendations, visit
his e-budget at http://www.myflorida.com
Copyright(c) 2004 State