TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With the release of the fiscal year 2016-17 budget, lawmakers now have 72 hours to read the final proposed budget prior to voting. The Tax and Budget Reform Commission, with the urging of Florida TaxWatch, was instrumental in enacting the constitutionally required 72 hour “cooling off” period, ensuring that the public, press and all legislators have a chance to examine the budget before a vote is cast. The $82.349 billion state budget will fund various state agencies and critical needs for all Floridians.
As Florida’s top government watchdog, Florida TaxWatch will be reviewing the budget for any appropriations that made it into the budget during closed-door budget negotiations or bypassed proper competitive selection processes. These “budget turkeys” skirt the budgeting process, diminishing transparency and accountability.
“Florida’s hard-working taxpayers have the right to know that the spending of their tax dollars gets the proper vetting, public deliberation and debate they deserve,” said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro. “Florida TaxWatch’s Budget Turkey Report brings these turkeys to light in the public eye as part of our effort to improve transparency in the budgeting process and hold government leaders accountable to hard-working taxpayers of Florida.”
To review the budget turkey criteria that Florida TaxWatch utilizes in our report, click here.