Florida’s 2024-2025 budget to top $114 billion

0
1804
ai photo
Image created by Artificial Intelligence from nightcafe.studio

Florida Construction News staff writer

Governor Ron DeSantis has released a proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024–2025 totalling $114.4 billion, more than $4.6 billion less than the current year budget.

The proposed $15.6 billion budget for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) would be a significant investment in transportation infrastructure across Florida with a focus on critical congestion relief and safety projects and aims to support the resiliency of Florida’s existing and future transportation infrastructure.

“Governor DeSantis’ proposed investments in our transportation infrastructure demonstrate his unwavering commitment to improving the quality of life for Floridians and local communities. As Florida’s population continues to grow, it is crucial that we have a robust transportation network to support our state,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue. “This budget proposal reaffirms the Department’s commitment to addressing congestion relief, resiliency, improving safety on our roadways, and strengthening Florida’s supply chain.”

Governor DeSantis’ Focus on Florida’s Future Budget provides $14.5 billion for projects in the Fiscal Year 2024-25 FDOT Work Program, a collaborative plan of strategic transportation projects that includes:

  • $5.4 billion for highway maintenance and construction to remain a national leader in maintaining existing roadways while expanding the system by 135 new lane miles
  • $1.9 billion in resurfacing to include 3,115 lane miles
  • $381.7 million for scheduled repairs of 62 bridges and the replacement of 15 bridges
  • $109.6 million in seaport investments
  • $334.4 million in aviation investments
  • $997.7 million in rail and transit investments
  • $210.1 million for safety initiatives
  • $215.3 million for community trail projects and $70.3 million for the SUN Trail Network
  • $181.3 million for small county programs

In addition to the aforementioned investments, the Governor is also recommending an additional $630 million to further the Moving Florida Forward Infrastructure Initiative and $25 million to provide commercial truck parking relief along the State Highway System. The $15.6 billion budget also includes $75 million in partnership with FloridaCommerce to provide grants to enhance Florida’s supply chain and innovative delivery models, including vertiports, airports, inland ports, seaports, freight railroads, intermodal logistic centers, and fuel pipelines.

The proposal includes:

  • A tax credit for businesses that employ Floridians with unique abilities, saving these businesses $5 million annually.
  • A -seven-day Tool Time sales tax holiday, saving skilled workers more than $16 million on tools they need for work.
  • An increase of the sales tax collection allowance to save small businesses $165 million.

The Focus on Florida’s Future Budget prioritizes investments that reduce congestion and expedite the movemnt of goods through the state’s supply chain including:

  • $14.5 billion for the state transportation work program to construct and maintain Florida’s transportation network.
  • $630 million for the 2nd phase of the Moving Florida Forward Initiative, expediting 20 projects to relieve traffic congestion.
  • $75 million for Florida’s ports, logistics centers and fuel pipelines, including vertiport development.
  • $25 million to expand the Truck Parking Improvement Program to increase the number of parking spots available in Florida to cargo- hauling large trucks.
  • To help create new jobs and support business development throughout the state, the Governor’s Budget invests:
  • $100 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund to support local infrastructure and workforce training projects.

Florida’s rural communities would receive $25 million for the Rural Infrastructure Fund to support local infrastructure projects and 100 million to expand broadband internet access in rural communities.

$7 million is included for the Defense Infrastructure Grant Program, which provides funding for infrastructure projects that make a positive impact on the military value of installations within the state.

The governor’s budget recommends $1.1 billion for Everglades restoration and water quality, bringing the total investment to $2.8 billion including:

  • $550 million for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).
  • $64 million for the EAA Reservoir to continue the momentum of this critical project to reduce harmful discharges and help send more clean water south of the Everglades.
  • $50 million is included for specific project components designed to achieve the greatest reductions in harmful discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries.
  • $81.5 million is included for the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program.
  • $3 million for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to remove pythons from the Everglades.

Water and wastewater projects also are included with:

  • $135 million for the expanded Water Quality Improvement Grant Program for projects to construct, upgrade or expand wastewater facilities, including septic to sewer conversions, stormwater management projects and agricultural nutrient reduction projects.
  • $100 million for the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Protection Program for priority projects to improve water quality in the IRL, as called for in Executive Order 23-06.
  • $50 million to accelerate projects to meet scientific nutrient reduction goals, called Total Maximum Daily Loads.
  • $20 million for critical infrastructure including wastewater and stormwater projects that address water quality impairments and coral reef restoration in Biscayne Bay.
  • $25 million for water quality improvements in the Caloosahatchee River watershed.

The proposal invests an additional $8.9 million to support additional equipment and capital improvements for the State Veterans’ Nursing Homes. The budget also includes $102 million to begin the construction of the ninth State Veterans’ Nursing Home in Collier County upon federal grant approval. Additionally, $2 million is recommended to assist veterans in securing meaningful skills-based employment, provide employers with a skilled talent pipeline, and assist veterans in creating and operating a small business.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.