|December 9, 2021
Public Policy Update
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announces his Fiscal Year 2022-23 proposed state budget.
Hello everyone. Governor Ron DeSantis announced his Freedom First 2022-23 state budget recommendations this morning, and they contain very encouraging news in relation to some of our core legislative priorities. In particular, when it comes to affordable housing and the environment, the governor's budget recommendations line up very closely with our own priorities.
Before I break the numbers down, I just want to point out that each year, prior to the legislative session, the Governor of Florida provides a budget proposal to state lawmakers. This proposal outlines their spending priorities and the amounts they believe should be allocated to the different areas of the state budget, such as education, healthcare, transportation, etc.
Lawmakers are under no requirement to accept these proposals as they work to pass the state budget. But, they do serve as an important roadmap for the types of policies and funding amounts that the governor is in favor of, and can be helpful in building a budget that avoids significant line-item vetoes.
Governor DeSantis' Freedom First budget provides $40 million to establish a revolving loan program to support workforce homeownership, including down payment assistance and closing cost assistance. This program is similar to the Hometown Hero Housing program we are working with lawmakers to create next year, and it's an extremely positive sign to see the governor include direct support for this type of program in his proposed budget.
The governor is also recommending $355.5 million to fully fund the State and Local Government Housing Trust Funds with the following breakdown:
- $95 million for the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) Program
- $220.5 million for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP).
Governor DeSantis is continuing his strong support of environmental programs by recommending over $980 million for Everglades Restoration and Water Resources Protection.
This year’s amount brings the four-year investment from the DeSantis Administration to over $3 billion, which surpasses the goal of $2.5 billion over four years set by the governor. The breakdown of funding includes the following:
- $660 million for Everglades restoration:
- $86.5 million for Restoration Strategies
- $372 million for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP)
- $69 million for the EAA Reservoir
- $50 million is included for specific project components designed to achieve the greatest reductions in harmful discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries
- $83.3 million is included for the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program
- $195 million for targeted water quality improvements:
- $125 million for the wastewater grant program
- $50 million to accelerate projects to meet scientific nutrient reduction goals
- $20 million for critical infrastructure including wastewater and stormwater projects in Biscayne Bay
- $50 million to restore Florida’s springs
- $35 million investment to improve water quality and combat the effects and impacts of harmful algal blooms, including blue-green algae and red tide:
- $15 million for innovative technologies and short-term solutions to aid in the prevention, cleanup and mitigation of harmful algal blooms
- $10.8 million to increase water quality monitoring
- $5 million to assist county governments with their responses to emergency biological debris conditions associated with red tide events
- $4.2 million in funding for continued support of research activities conducted by the Center for Red Tide Research and long-term collaborative partnerships among FWC, the University of South Florida College of Marine Science and Mote Marine Laboratory.
- $40 million for the alternative water supply grant program to help communities plan for and implement vital conservation, reuse and other alternative water supply projects.
- $100 million for the stabilization, treatment, and closure of the Piney Point site
- $100 million for the Florida Forever Program
- Over $550 million for Resilient Florida Program
Governor DeSantis Announces Statewide Resilience Plan
Yesterday, Gov. DeSantis announced another milestone in Florida’s efforts to protect Florida’s coastal and inland communities with the state’s first ever Statewide Flooding Resilience Plan.
The plan consists of a list of projects that will enhance Florida’s efforts to protect inland waterways, coastlines, shores, and coral reefs, which are invaluable natural defenses against sea-level rise and flooding. The plan is part of Senate Bill 1954, signed by Governor DeSantis earlier this year, which ensures a coordinated approach to Florida’s coastal and inland resilience and provides a structure for resilience that follows the best available science and data while enhancing efforts to protect inland and coastal resources that act as natural defenses against sea-level rise.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-2022 budget included both state and federal funding to support the most significant investment in the state’s history — over $640 million — to support efforts to ensure state and local communities are prepared to deal with the impacts of sea-level rise, intensified storms, and flooding.
The three-year Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan proposes 76 projects across the state totaling over $270 million, subject to appropriation. DEP accepted applications through their online portal through September 1, 2021. These applications were carefully evaluated for eligibility by the department under the criteria established in SB 1954. A list of projects in the plan can be found HERE.
2022 Session Information
As of today, 2570 total bills have been filed for the 2022 session. Of those bills, 553 come from the Florida Senate and 2017 come from the Florida House. You can track all the bills impacting the real estate industry in our bill tracker.
Listed below are the remaining important dates associated with Florida's 2022 Legislative Session.
These, and many other topics can be found on Florida Realtors® website. Also, you can always reach out to us at email@example.com with any questions you may have. Stay safe and healthy everyone!
Vice President of Public Policy