Client Alert: Florida FY 23-24 Budget Approved by Governor Ron DeSantis

Download Client Alert: Florida FY 23-24 Budget Approved by Governor Ron DeSantis

Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s budget for Fiscal Year 2023-2024 into law. The state spending plan, dubbed the Framework for Freedom Budget, allocates a total of $116.5 billion across Florida agencies to fund programs, projects, and a variety of other initiatives. With his approval, the Governor issued more than $500 million in line-item vetoes, which mainly affected local project earmarks throughout the state. The veto sum pales in comparison to last year’s, where the Governor struck down more than $3 billion worth of projects. 

The budget includes a series of tax holidays and permanent exemptions totaling $2.7 billion that are made possible by a significant surplus in state revenue. Sales tax holidays for Florida residents include two for Back-to-School in the fall and spring, two for Disaster Preparedness, and a three-month one for Freedom Summer, among others. Permanent sales tax exemptions are included for baby and toddler necessities, adult incontinence products, and oral hygiene products. A number of other products will be temporarily tax-free under the budget, including gas stoves, energy star appliances, firearm safety equipment, and natural gas, to name a few. According to the Governor’s office, Florida boasts the third smallest per capita tax collection of all states with Floridians paying an average of only $2,264 in taxes per year. Floridians who utilize toll roads more than 35 times per month will also see relief of 50 percent in toll costs. 

Health and human services account for the largest portion of total spending in the budget, rounding out to $47.3 billion between the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Children and Families, and the Department of Health. The second largest portion of the budget is education, which receives an investment of $26.8 billion for the upcoming year. Of that, $14.5 billion is allocated to public schools in Florida, which allocates an additional $405 per student compared to FY 2022-2023. 

The budget also invests $7.2 billion into the protection and preservation of our environment, agriculture, and national resources with $3.8 billion of those funds going to the Department of Environmental Protection. Other noteworthy investments include $3.7 billion for hurricane preparedness and relief, $13.9 billion to the ongoing State Transportation Work Program, $711 million for affordable and workforce housing under the Live Local Act, and $6.7 billion to criminal and civil justice costs. 

The budget officially goes into effect on July 1, 2023 at the start of Fiscal Year 2023-2024. A full list of budget highlights can be accessed here, and a full list of vetoed projects can be accessed here.