Budget Watch - Agencies Request Small Increase in Funding for FY2015-16
Florida’s state agencies have requested $75.602 billion in funding from the Legislature for FY2015-16, $1.213 billion less than final current year appropriations. However, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) legislative budget request (LBR) is artificially low, and is expected to increase to approximately the same amount as current year expenditures by the time the Legislature finishes the budget. When DOT’s LBR is omitted, agencies requested a relatively modest increase of $660.8 million (0.9 percent). Eighteen agencies requested a funding increase, while twelve requested less than they received in the current budget. Agencies also requested 115,820 state employees, an increase of 1,318 positions (1.2 percent), mostly within the State Courts System and Justice Administration budget (1,002).
Agencies did request increased spending for specific programs, as well as many new initiatives, but overall requests are lower than current spending in large part due to non-recurring appropriations in the current budget (such as local projects and one-time grants), which are often not requested for the next budget.
The total request of $75.602 billion is made up of $28.668 billion in general revenue (GR) and $46.933 billion in trust funds. The latest revenue estimates forecast $30.632 billion in GR will be available for the FY2015-16, meaning that the agency requests would leave GR reserves of almost $2 billion.