FL2030 From the Capitol: Legislative Update
By: Carolyn Johnson, Sr. Director of Business, Economic Development and Innovation Policy, Florida Chamber of Commerce
The 2022 Legislative Session recently concluded on March 14th with the passage of a $112.1 billion budget, the largest in the state’s history. Below are components of the state’s FY 2022-2023 budget that align with goals outlined in the Florida 2030 Blueprint.
Goal: 100% of Florida 3rd graders read at or above grade level
The state is investing $29 million in the New Worlds Reading Initiative, which provides scholarships to below-average students for tuition, tutoring and materials to improve reading at grade level. The state also increased funding by $40 million to $170 million for reading instruction.
Goal: Rural share of Florida gross domestic product doubles
The state is investing an additional $25 million in the Rural Infrastructure Fund, a fund available for rural communities to build infrastructure, including buildings and broadband.
Goal: #1 state for overseas visitors
The state is investing $50 million in VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s tourism marketing organization, which markets to out-of-state and international visitors.
Goals: World’s most capable spaceports, top-tier airports, seaports, and surface transportation hubs in U.S. & all major population and economic centers connected to regional, national and global markets by high-capacity corridors
The state funded the 5-year Department of Transportation work program at $11.6 billion.
Goal: 100% of Florida residents have access to high-speed communications connectivity
The state is investing $400 million in the Broadband Opportunity Program to expand broadband internet service in underserved areas of the state. This fund will award grants for the installation or deployment of broadband infrastructure.
Goal: Diverse and reliable energy, water, and waste management resources to meet future demand
The state is investing nearly $1 billion for Everglades restoration, $782.4 million for water quality improvement projects, $50 million for alternative water supply projects, $75 million for springs restoration and $128.9 million for water infrastructure improvements.
Goal: All Florida residents protected by resiliency plans
The state is investing $470.9 million to combat flooding and sea-level rise and $200 million in the Resilient Florida Grant Program. This grant program is available to cities and counties to protect critical assets, such as infrastructure, community and emergency facilities, and cultural assets from flooding and sea-level rise.
Goal: Florida protects and enhances the value of its arts, culture, heritage and sense of place
The state provided $175.3 million for library, cultural, and historical grants, initiatives and facilities.
Goal: <10% of Florida residents live in housing-cost burdened households
This year, the state is investing $362.7 million in affordable housing programs, including $209.5 million for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP), $53.3 million for the State Apartment Incentive Loan and $100 million for a Florida Hometown Hero Housing Program. SHIP and the Hometown Hero Housing Program, which has yet to be created, focuses on home ownership.