Budget Watch

Budget Watch - Budget Surplus Threatened by Irma Impacts

09/2017 // The new Outlook forecasts that after funding a continuation budget, there will be $52.0 million in General Revenue (GR) left over, until the financial impacts of Hurricane Irma are considered.


Budget Watch - More GR Available for Next Budget Thanks to Seminole Gaming Settlement

08/2017 // Estimating Conference says that revenue from the gaming agreement that was reached in July between the state and the Seminole Tribe will more than offset a projected revenue loss for the state.


Budget Watch - FY2017-18 GAA Only Tells Part of Florida's Budget Story

07/2017 // The 2017 Florida Legislature passed a $82.418 billion General Appropriations Act (GAA), already the largest in the state’s history. But this is not all the money appropriated this year.


Budget Watch - Proposed Budgets for FY2017-18 Far Apart

04/2017 // As we enter the penultimate week of the 2017 Legislative Session, the next state budget is still very much up in the air. The House and Senate spending plans are effectively $4 billion apart.


Budget Watch - Final GR Estimates Set Stage for Tough Budget

03/2017 // The General Revenue (GR) Estimating Conference met recently to determine how much money will be available to the 2017 Legislature for the new state budget.


Budget Watch - Analyzing the Governor's FY2018 Budget Recommendations

02/2017 // Governor Rick Scott recently released his $83.474 billion proposed budget, which will be considered by the Legislature as it crafts the state’s new spending plan.


Budget Watch - Revenue Estimates Increased Slightly, Shortfall Looms

12/2016 // Lawmakers received a small measure of positive fiscal news from state economists this week. The General Revenue (GR) Estimating Conference met on December 12, 2016 and increased its revenue forecast by $119.3 million in the current year (FY2016-17) and by $22.6 million for the next budget year (FY2017-18).


Budget Watch - The Zika Virus Will Place Additional Strain on the Next State Budget

11/2016 // In addition to the serious public health risk for Floridians, the Zika virus is also creating risk for the already tight state budget outlook for next year.


Budget Watch - Projected Shortfall Requires Action

09/2016 // The 2017 Legislature will be facing a very tight budget year. After a string of three straight years with projected budget surpluses ranging from $336 million to $846 million, it is now estimated that during the next legislative session there will be just enough money to fund a continuation budget for FY2017-18. What’s more, significant budget shortfalls loom in subsequent years.


Budget Watch - Budget Outlook for FY2017-18 Getting Tighter

08/2016 // Just as they did at their last conference in January, Florida’s revenue estimators reduced the state’s General Revenue (GR) projections. The GR Estimating Conference met on August 15, 2016 and reduced expected collections by $131.9 million in the current year (FY2016-17) and by $131.1 million for the next budget year (FY2017-18).


Budget Watch - Growing Federal Debt Puts the Nation at Risk

07/2016 // In dollars, America’s debt is forecast to reach an astonishing $87.9 trillion in 30 years. This is more than $200,000 for each of the 400 million men, women, and children expected to live in the United States in 2046. This Budget Watch looks at the long-term implications of such a debt.


Budget Watch - Budget Process Underway for FY2017-18

06/2016 // The FY2017-18 budget process is now underway. The Governor’s office recently provided budget instructions to state agencies to use in formulating their legislative budget requests (LBRs), which are due on October 14. The Governor will then use the LBRs to develop his budget recommendations, which must be provided to the Legislature at least 30 days before the start (March 7) of the 2017 Legislative Session.


Budget Watch - Proposed House and Senate Budgets for FY2016-17 are $1 Billion Apart

02/2016 // The House and Senate passed their respective state budgets for FY2016-17 with four weeks remaining in the 2016 Session. They will now go into the budget conference process to negotiate the differences. Conference meetings could start as early as this week (the week of February 22).


Budget Watch - Governor's FY2016-17 Recommended Budget

01/2016 // Florida legislators received news this week that they will have $395.6 million less to spend on the next state budget than originally anticipated. Citing weaker corporate profits and adverse developments in the international economy, the state General Revenue (GR) Estimating Conference decreased its estimates of GR collections in each of the six years in its forecast horizon.


Budget Watch - What is the Cost of Florida's State and Local Government?

12/2015 // Florida’s has historically held the reputation of being a low-tax state, and that is largely true, especially at the state level. But taxes do not tell the whole story of what government costs its citizens. Taxes, especially those reported to the U.S. Census Bureau, exclude a large amount of revenue paid into government co ers by citizens. And that non-tax revenue accounts for a much higher portion of government total revenue in Florida than in the average state. A better measure of the cost of government is “own source revenue,” which Florida TaxWatch has been tracking in its How Florida Compares series. Own source revenue includes all direct revenue except for intergovernmental aid, revenue from government-owned utilities and other enterprises, and social insurance funds. It includes non-tax revenue such as fees, charges for services, special assessments, impact fees and net lottery revenue.


Budget Watch - Governor's FY2016-17 Recommended Budget

12/2015 // Governor Rick Scott’s budget recommendations for FY2016-17 total $79.252 billion—an increase of 1.1 percent ($855.1 million) over current year spending. General Revenue (GR) spending of $29.260 billion would be an increase of 1.4 percent over the current year. The budget proposes to fund 112,823 state employee positions, 864 fewer than currently exist.


Budget Watch - 2016-17 Legislative Budget Requests

10/2015 // Florida’s state government agencies have requested $77.835 billion in funding from the Legislature for FY2016-17, which is $1.2 billion (1.6 percent) more than these agencies are expected to spend in the current year. The total request is made up of $29.481 billion in general revenue (GR) and $48.354 billion in trust funds. The GR request is an increase of $854.5 million (3.0 percent). The latest revenue estimates forecast $31.653 billion in GR will be available for FY2016-17 meaning that the agency requests would leave GR reserves of $2 billion.


Budget Watch - Projected Surplus Not As Large As It Seems

09/2015 // It is estimated that the 2016 Florida Legislature will have a budget surplus for FY2016-17, meaning major budget cuts should not be needed and there should be some money left over for new initiatives. After funding a continuation budget, including expected cost increases in current programs and other historically funded items, it is anticipated that there will be $635.4 million (including an allowance for $1 billion in cash reserves) in General Revenue (GR) left over.


Budget Watch - General Revenue Forecast for FY 2016-17

08/2015 // State economists predict lawmakers will have $657.5 million more than previously anticipated for the next state budget. The latest General Revenue (GR) forecast shows the state's GR fund is expected to reach $31.6 billion for the 2016-17 budget year. The growing available funds mean recurring revenues exceed current recurring expenses by $1.6 billion.


Budget Watch - Pocket Guide to FY2015-16 Budget

08/2015 // Florida TaxWatch is pleased to present taxpayers with a guide to the FY2015-16 state budget, which went into effect July 1, 2015. We hope this annual budget pocket guide gives you the information you need to better understand where and how your hard-earned tax dollars are being spent.


Budget Watch - 2015 Special Session Preview

05/2015 // Lawmakers return to Tallahassee next week to finish budget negotiations, but will have to resolve more than differences in healthcare spending. The May edition of Budget Watch outlines the scope of the Special Session, noting that lawmakers will also consider conforming bills ranging from transportation networks to child welfare agencies.


Budget Watch - House and Senate Tax Cut Packages

04/2015 // As Florida House and Senate leaders prepare to negotiate the differences in their budget proposals passed last week, one potential sticking point will be tax cut packages. The latest Florida TaxWatch Budget Watch outlines the tax cut options thus far.


Budget Watch - House and Senate Proposed Budgets

03/2015 // A more than $4 billion dollar difference between the House and Senate budget proposals is detailed in this annual analysis of the initial budgets, which shows that the largest point of contention between the chambers is in funding the health and human services portion of the budget.


Budget Watch - Governor's Recommended Budget

02/2015 // This Budget Watch analyzes Governor Scott's FY2015-16 budget recommendations.


Budget Watch - Agencies Request Small Increase in Funding for FY2015-16

01/2015 // Florida's state agencies are requesting $75.602 billion from the Legislature in 2015, a modest increase of $660.8 million. Eighteen of the state's agencies are asking for more money in the upcoming budget year, while twelve agencies have proposed reducing their funding levels.


Budget Watch - New GR Estimates Up $627 Million

12/2014 // According to this Budget Watch, lawmakers are expected to have $30.6 billion in General Revenue, plus unspent reserves, to create a state budget in 2015. An historic $30.6 billion budget would be $2.2 billion more than the current spending plan, an increase of 7.9 percent.


Budget Watch - Florida's Business Tax Climate Judged to be the Nation's 5th Best

11/2014 // A new national report ranking Florida's business climate as 5th best in the nation highlights the state's strengths but may overstate the attractiveness of Florida's tax system, according to this report. The ranking is from the Tax Foundation's 2015 Business Tax Climate Index, an annual publication that analyzes how tax structures compare across states.


Budget Watch - Small Surplus Projected for Next Florida State Budget

10/2014 // Florida lawmakers are expected to have a small budget surplus when they come to Tallahassee in 2015. State economists have predicted that funding a continuation budget next year will leave $336.2 million in available General Revenue funds. This is the fourth surplus in four years, despite being less than half of the surplus in fiscal year 2013-14.


Budget Watch - Budget Outlook Becoming Clearer

09/2014 // Florida's latest cycle of revenue and expenditure estimating conferences show that Florida is still in a healthy post-recession recovery; however, the conferences have resulted in forecasts with slightly tempered expectations. Generally, projections of revenues were reduced from the previous estimates, even though the funds are expected to continue to grow year over year.


Budget Watch - General Revenue Estimating Conference

08/2014 // When the 2015 Legislature convenes in Tallahassee, it is expected to have nearly $30 billion in General Revenue to create the state budget for FY 2015-16. However, after this month's GR Estimating Conference, the new General Revenue projection is $141.6 million less than previously thought.


Budget Watch - Legislation Affecting Florida Revenues

07/2014 // All the bills passed by the 2014 Legislature have now been evaluated by the state's revenue estimators, resulting in a revenue reduction of more than $550 in the current fiscal year. Local revenues will be reduced by $41.5 million and $37.0 million. Despite the declining revenue estimates, the reduction still leaves $1.65 billion in general revenue reserves for the fiscal year, according to the July Budget Watch.


Budget Watch - FY2014-15 House and Senate Budget Comparison

04/2014 // This BudgetWatch report compares the FY2014-15 House and Senate budgets in each spending area, and shows the change versus the current fiscal year.


Budget Watch - Latest Estimating Conferences

03/2014 // Already enjoying what is called a more than $1 billion budget surplus to appropriate during the 2014 Legislative Session, lawmakers were given another $150 million by the latest General Revenue (GR) Estimating Conference. This Budget Watch report for this coming fiscal year examines the latest round of estimating conferences by state economists and recommends that the Legislature still consider this a tight budget year and continue to implement cost-saving reforms such as those identified by the TaxWatch Center for Government Efficiency.


Budget Watch - Florida's Finances Strong

02/2014 // The fiscal condition of Florida's state government is in good shape as evidenced by a new study that ranks the state sixth overall in the nation, though there are some limitations with the reports findings, according to this analysis by Florida TaxWatch.


Budget Watch - Governor's Proposed Budget - FY2014-15

01/2014 // Highlights from Governor Rick Scott's proposed budget plan for FY 2014-15 are featured in this Budget Watch Report. The $74.20 billion spending plan is slightly lower than current year spending, even as lawmakers are expected to have their first budget surplus in many years.


Budget Watch - Outlook Projects Surplus for FY2014-15

09/2013 // The Legislative Budget Commission has adopted the Long-Range Financial Outlook, which contains an expected budget surplus of $846 million for FY 2014-15. This marks the second year in a row that the Florida Legislature will likely have a surplus after funding the continuation budget.


Budget Watch - Governor Scott's Proposed Budget, FY 2013-14

02/2013 // This Budget Watch looks at the details of the Governor's $74.2 billion proposed budget for FY2013-14.


Budget Watch: Analysis of the Governor's Recommendations FY 2009-10

02/2009 // "While saying he's not recommending any tax increases, Governor Charlie Crist is proposing $558 million in new fees. This report details key allocations contained in the budget. "


Budget Watch: Governor Crist s Proposed State Budget for FY 2007-08

02/2007 //


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TEL: 850.222.5052     |     FAX: 850.222.7476

Media Inquiries:  Contact Leah Courtney by Email or Phone: 850.212.5052

Media Inquiries:
Contact Leah Courtney by Email
or Phone: 850.212.5052