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    • Headlines

      Budget Gimmicks Update August 2013

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito | August 8, 2013

      State officials have a deep bag of tricks to "solve" budget gaps. In reality, these gimmicks result in state budget that appear at first glance to be balanced, but looking past the smoke and mirrors reveals that they are very unbalanced. This consistent habit of kicking the can down the road has put states in their current fiscal catastrophes. This month's updates come from California, Connecticut and Texas.

    • Headlines

      State Pension Litigation Update, August 2013

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito | August 8, 2013

      In attempts to reign in the costs of pensions, state lawmakers legislate pension reform. Challengers to those reforms often bring suit, alleging violations of state law, contracts, and the Constitution. In this month's update, we include the details of the Detroit bankruptcy filing.

    • Headlines

      Pandemic of pension woes plagues nation | by John W. Schoen | August 5, 2013

      A analysis of more than 120 of the nation's largest state and local pension plans finds they face a wide range of burdens as their aging workforces near retirement.

    • Headlines

      State pension assets fell 1% in 2011-12

      Marketwatch | by Matthew Heimer | August 3, 2013

      Total assets in the nation's state government pension systems fell by about 1% in the fiscal year that ended in June 2012, to a total of $2.52 trillion, according to a report issued by the Census Bureau.

    • Headlines

      Retiree healthcare gap to burden U.S. states, cities: economists

      Yahoo! News | by Hilary Russ | August 2, 2013

      U.S. state and local governments have about $1 trillion of unfunded retiree healthcare liabilities, a shortfall that is expected to pressure budgets in the near future even more than pension costs.

    • Headlines

      If Detroit cuts pensions, will your city be next? | by Matthew Belvedere | July 30, 2013

      Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr wants to reduce pension benefits for thousands of retired and current city employees. In its Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing, the city claimed $3.5 billion in underfunded pensions. That's nearly 20 percent of all of the city's total debts of $18.5 billion.

    • Headlines : Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Oklahoma

      Georgia, Oklahoma say Common Core tests are too costly and decide not to adopt them

      Washington Post | by Lyndsey Layton | July 24, 2013

      Citing costs, Georgia and Oklahoma have decided against adopting standardized tests being created by a consortium of states as part of the new Common Core national academic standards.

      And politicians in other states — including Indiana and Florida, which has been a leader in the development of the Common Core — are voicing similar concerns, suggesting that more defections could be on the way.


    • Headlines

      Hatch's Senate bill aims to save state and local pensions

      by Cory Eucalitto | July 12, 2013

      The portion of the bill garnering the most attention would create the option for state and municipal governments to voluntarily turn their pension plans over to life insurers and other annuity providers.

    • Headlines

      Pension Proposal Aims to Ease Burden on States and Cities

      The New York Times | by Mary Williams Walsh | July 9, 2013

      Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah has devised a way for states and cities to exit the pension business while still giving public workers the type of benefits they want. It involves a tax-law change that would enable governments to turn their pension plans over to life insurers.

    • Headlines : California, North Dakota, Texas, Florida

      Christmas Comes Early for State Budgets

      The Wall Street Journal | by Stephen Moore | July 8, 2013

      Flush with a one-time tax inflow, the spenders in both parties are repeating the mistakes of the past decade.

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    • Budget timeframe: Annual

      Fiscal Year begins: July 1

      The current state budget can be found here.

      Find the legislative session calendar here.

      Find the current legislative leaders here.


      FL Gov ScottGov. Rick Scott

      The Capitol
      Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
      Phone: (850) 488-2272
      Fax: (850) 922-4292





      Office of Policy and Budget
      1702 The Capitol, Executive Office of the Governor
      Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
      Phone (850) 487-1880
      Fax: (850) 488-9005


      Want a more robust, long-term look at your state's fiscal health, beyond the budget? There are two parts: Click here for the FY2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) compiled by the state government, and click here for information on the state's pension liabilities


      FL state seal


      Florida is required to pass a "balanced budget." Sections 216.165 and 216.221 of the state law require the governor to recommend revenues sufficient to fund appropriations. Florida law forbids the carrying over of a deficit from one year to the next. Florida's governor is required to monitor revenues to ensure that all the necessary revenues are being raised. If a deficit is developing, then the governor, house speaker, senate president and chief justice are to reduce costs to eliminate the deficit. Florida has one of the most aggressive policies for maintaining a balanced budget in the country, requiring that when the budget isn't balanced, it is to be made balanced. In spite of these laws and policies, Florida reported budget deficits (negative net transactions) for the three years studied.


      The State maintains four individual governmental funds: the General Fund, the Environment, Recreation & Conservation Fund, the Health & Family Services Fund, and the Transportation Fund. The State budgets its financial activities on a cash basis of accounting and budgets three major funds: the General fund, the major special revenue fund (comprised of 3 lesser funds), and special revenue fund (comprised of about 19 to 20 lesser funds). On the Budgetary Comparison Schedule neither one of these budget categories include a "Total" column for the lesser funds, which is inefficient for budgetary analysis.


      Florida has a dedicated website to the budget,, which shows the funding for all agencies and the funding source. [from the Institute for Truth in Accounting]


      Find the state's bond ratings here.



      James Madison Inst. logo

    • Solutions: Florida

      Three Things You Can Do to Fix Health Care Now

      Foundation for Government Accountability | by Christie Herrera | December 6, 2012

      Three Things to Fix Health Care Now:

      #1: Reject the Health Insurance Exchange
      #2: Don't Expand Medicaid
      #3: Offer an Alternative

    • Solutions

      How Reality-Based Budgeting Can Permanently Resolve State Budget Gaps

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | November 7, 2012

      State Budget Solutions recommends that state legislators take action in 2013 to resolve the serious state financial crises by changing their focus from inputs to outcomes by redesigning budgets from the ground up based on priorities and performance.

    • Solutions

      How to Prevent Future Pension Crises

      by Cory Eucalitto | November 1, 2012

      The time for state and local governments to offer defined contribution retirement plans that protect both taxpayer dollars and public employee retirement security is now.

    • Solutions

      State Lawmakerís Guide to Evaluating Medicaid Expansion Projections

      The Heritage Foundation | by Edmund F. Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski | October 17, 2012

      Supporters of Obamacare claim that expanding Medicaid will entail little to no cost to state governments, since the federal government will fund the vast majority of the additional costs. Indeed, some analyses project states achieving savings from adopting the expansion. However, state lawmakers should be wary of accepting such analyses at face value.

    • Solutions

      Medicaid Is BrokenóLet the States Fix It

      The Wall Street Journal | by Paul Howard and Russell Sykes | October 15, 2012

      Block-granting Medicaid is the best way to deliver better, cost-effective care to the most vulnerable Americans.

    • Solutions: North Carolina , Florida

      Medicaid Reform

      Civitas Institute | by Brian Balfour | September 12, 2012

      Any serious attempt at state budget reform in North Carolina must include an examination of its Medicaid program. Costs have been soaring, and past cost-containment efforts have proven both insufficient and detrimental to enrollees' access to care. Moreover, Medicaid enrollees are merely passive participants in the program with little or no choices, and at the mercy of the whims of politicians.

    • Solutions

      The Case for Reform: Prisons

      Right on Crime | August 1, 2012

      Prisons are supremely important, but they are also a supremely expensive government program, and thus prison systems must be held to the highest standards of accountability.

    • Solutions

      The Case for Reform: Adult Probation

      Right on Crime | August 1, 2012
    • Solutions

      Solutions to the public pension crisis

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | August 1, 2012

      Public pensions at the state and municipal levels are unsustainable in their current form.  State Budget Solutions' recent study by Andrew Biggs found that public pensions are underfunded by $4.6 trilion. Here we offer solutions to the pension crisis

    • Solutions: Florida

      A Medicaid Cure: Florida's Medicaid Reform Pilot

      Foundation for Government Accountability | by Tarren Bragdon | May 23, 2012

      During its five years of operations, Florida's Medicaid Reform Pilot has improved the health of enrolled patients, achieved high patient satisfaction, and kept cost increases below average, saving Florida up to $118 million annually.

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