TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced his “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget which proposes $618 million in tax cuts to help Florida families and small businesses. The Governor’s recommended budget also invests record funding in Florida’s education system, strengthens environmental protection efforts, supports law enforcement and fights for Florida’s growing job market.
Governor Scott said, “Florida businesses have added more than 1.2 million jobs over the last six years and our economy is booming because of our continued focus on cutting taxes, reducing burdensome regulations and fostering an environment where job creators can grow and succeed in Florida. Our ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ budget continues our hard work and cuts taxes by $618 million while making strategic investments in areas that are important to families. Because our economy continues to grow, we are able to make these investments while also paying down debt and setting aside $5 billion in reserves. I look forward to working with the Legislature this session to make Florida the best place in the world for our future generations.”
- Cuts Taxes and Fees
The “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget proposes to cut taxes by more than $618 million including decreasing the tax on business rents, providing a one-year sales tax exemption on college textbooks, cutting the business tax, exempting school book fairs from the sales tax and implementing a 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday, nine-day disaster preparedness sales tax holiday, three-day veteran’s sales tax holiday and one-day camping and fishing sales tax holiday.
Governor Scott’s “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget also includes $8.1 million in additional annual fee cuts for Florida’s seniors, teachers, veterans and businesses, all while maintaining the quality of services provided.
- Grows the Economy
Florida has created more than 1.25 million jobs in just six years and Governor Scott will keep fighting for jobs until his last day in office. The “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget recommends $85 million for economic incentives for the sole purpose of bringing more jobs to Florida and supporting small businesses.
- Invests in Education
The “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget invests historic funding in Florida’s education system to ensure every student has the opportunity to succeed in the Sunshine State. Historic investments include:
- Nearly $21 billion in state and local funding through the Florida Educational Finance Program (FEFP) for Florida’s K-12 public schools which equates to $7,421 per student. This is the highest total funding, state funding and per-student funding for K-12 in Florida’s history.
- Governor Scott is also recommending a historic $6.6 billion in total funding for higher education in Florida which includes increased funding for the Bright Futures Scholarship program. There are also NO tuition increases included in the budget.
- Protects the Environment
The “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget invests nearly $4 billion in Florida’s environment which includes:
- $360 million for water quality projects which includes record funding once again for Florida’s springs of $65 million and $60 million for the new Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahatchee Clean-Up Initiative; and
- $225 million for Everglades restoration.
- Keeps Families Healthy
The “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget makes important investments which include:
- More than $1 billion in mental health and substance abuse funding, including $18.7 million for community-based behavioral health services;
- A record $632 million to provide core services to children who depend on Florida’s child welfare system; and
- More than $7.4 million to remove everyone off of the critical needs waiting list at the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) for the fourth consecutive year.
- Builds Strong Communities
The “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget invests more than $5.1 billion in public safety and makes important investments to support Florida’s dedicated law enforcement officers. Key public safety investments include:
- $14.6 million to award Florida’s nearly 4,800 sworn state law enforcement officers with a five percent pay raise;
- $5.8 million to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to hire 46 new employees dedicated to counterterrorism; and
- More than $45 million to increase the pay of Florida’s correctional and correctional probation officers.
- Invests in Florida’s Veterans Community
The “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget recommends $102 million to support active military, veterans and their families.