Rep. Steve Crisafulli Week 5 Legislative Report

By  //  April 6, 2014

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Senate Passes Fiscal Year Budget Proposals

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House Passes Fiscally Sound Budget

The House continued to have a busy week of committee meetings and Session. On Thursday, the House and Senate passed their respective 2014-2015 Fiscal Year budget proposals. The next step is to work with the Senate in budget negotiations to produce a unified, responsibly balanced budget.

2014-2015 House Budget

Thanks to the improving economic conditions and the Legislature’s continued restraint, our state is well on the road to economic recovery.

• The House passed  HB 5001, the 2014-2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA), with strong bipartisan support. The $75.3 billion House budget proposal prioritizes funding in the best interest of all Floridians, provides over $500 million in tax relief to our hardworking citizens, and responsibly plans for any potential future economic uncertainty by maintaining $2.9 billion in reserves.

The budget demonstrates a continued commitment to providing quality education for Florida’s students by proposing total education funding that exceeds any previous year’s funding and rewarding universities that help students get jobs after graduation.

The budget demonstrates a continued commitment to providing quality education for Florida’s students by proposing total education funding that exceeds any previous year’s funding and rewarding universities that help students get jobs after graduation.

The budget demonstrates a continued commitment to providing quality education for Florida’s students by proposing total education funding that exceeds any previous year’s funding and rewarding universities that help students get jobs after graduation. The budget continues to strengthen Florida’s safety net by increasing funding to serve our most vulnerable populations.

The House provides funding to serve all Floridians on the Agency for Persons with Disabilities Medicaid Waiver intensive needs waiting list and significantly invests in Florida’s child welfare system to reduce caseloads for Child Protective Investigators to better serve and protect children in this state.

The House budget also makes significant investments to protect the environment, ensure the safety of our citizens, and improve our transportation, education, and environmental infrastructure.

The House budget also makes significant investments to protect the environment, ensure the safety of our citizens, and improve our transportation, education, and environmental infrastructure.

The House budget proposal presents a balanced state budget that directs significant funding toward key services and provides meaningful tax relief to Floridians. Even with improving economic conditions, the Florida House remains committed to the fiscal principles that led us to where we are today – that means living within our means and leaving enough money in reserves to address potential future rainy days.

More Tax Relief For Floridians

In addition to the budget, the House passed HB 5601 with bipartisan support as part of the Legislature’s Work Plan 2014 initiative to significantly cut taxes and fees by $500 million – the largest tax and fee cut in a decade.

This legislation encourages economic development in the state while providing $141 million in benefits to Florida taxpayers. The bill incorporates a broad range of components that will benefit Floridians, including:

• Multiple Sales Tax Holidays: Back to School, Hurricane Preparedness, and Energy and Water Efficient Appliances.

• A permanent sales tax exemption for car seats and other child restraint systems and bicycle helmets marketed for use by youth.

• An increase in the exemption for corporate income tax to the first $75,000 of income for each corporate income taxpayer.

• The creation of a new Qualified Television Loan Fund to assist television production companies in acquiring the financing they need to encourage the production of television programs in Florida.

• Additional investments for statewide strategic and regionally important transportation projects.

This bill, along with CS/SB 156 signed by the Governor this week to reduce vehicle registration fees, will help Florida’s economy continue to grow and prosper by putting money back into the pockets of our taxpayers.

Governor Scott Signed Important Legislation This Week

This week, Governor Scott signed a package of bills designed to crack down on sexual predators in Florida and to better protect our children from them. Also, he signed a bill to save Floridians money by cutting $400 million in vehicle registration and title fees.

CS/SB 156 Relating to Motor Vehicle and Mobile Home Taxes, Fees, and Surcharges
Reduces some of the fees required to register a motor vehicle, vessel or mobile home, and returns them to the amount required prior to September 1, 2009. The fee reductions will take effect September 1, 2014.

CS/CS/SB 522 Involuntary Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators
Makes various changes to laws relating to the assessment of sexual offenders for civil commitment as a sexually violent predator.

CS/SB 524 Sexually Violent Predators
Creates the “Protecting Our Children from Sexual Predators Act.” The primary purpose of the bill is to facilitate the accurate assessment of sex offenders for civil commitment as sexually violent predators.

CS/CS/CS/SB 526 Sexual Offenses 
Significantly increases the punishment of sex offenders. Minimum sentences and maximum penalties are increased for several sexual battery and lewd offenses and incentive gain-time eligibility is eliminated.

CS/CS/SB 528 Sex Offenses
Makes numerous changes to Florida laws relevant to persons required to register as a sexual predator or sexual offender (“registrant”). Registration of such individuals provides notice to the public and assists law enforcement personnel in monitoring the activities of sexual predators and sexual offenders.

Florida Students Excel

Learn More. Go Further. released a report measuring the educational progress of Florida’s students as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and the results are in – Florida’s students are national leaders in student achievement.

Key Findings of the Report:

• Florida is the only state in the country to improve the achievement gap between white and African-American students since 2011.
• Florida students’ improvement in 4th grade math and reading and 8th grade reading is twice the national average.
• Florida outperformed the nation in 4th grade reading across every demographic group.
• 4th grade Florida Hispanic students outperform their peers in reading by two grade levels.
• Florida’s 4th grade low-income students rank 1st in the nation in reading.

This report brings positive news about the achievement of Florida students. Our students, teachers, schools, and parents are doing great work, and this is more proof that Florida provides its students with a first-rate public education.


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