April 4, 2022
Throughout the 2022 legislative session, FPI and partner organizations, including the People’s Budget, joined efforts to oppose legislation (SB 1090) that included a hefty $3.5 billion corporate tax cut.
In what we consider a big win for families in the state and for pro-revenue advocates, the bill did not pass! In fact, it never made it to the floor for a vote. This is an important step in the right direction. Now, dollars that would have gone to the state’s wealthiest corporations can instead be invested in things like affordable housing, public schools, a Working Floridians Tax Rebate, and other important programs and services.
Click here to read about the letter from FPI and 30 nonprofits, advocacy and faith-based organizations, and others from across Florida urging state leaders to reject any legislation that would enact new CIT cuts. Click here and here to view FPI’s op-eds urging lawmakers to reject SB 1090 and other corporate tax cuts.
In another bit of good news, the state could soon be required to share how Medicaid managed care plans are serving Floridians across various demographic groups on things like prenatal care, hospital readmissions, child well-care checkups, and numerous other measures.
Both the Florida House and Senate unanimously approved legislation (HB 855/SB 1258) that would add another layer of accountability to Medicaid managed care by requiring the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to report on performance measure data by race, ethnicity, primary language, sex, and disability.
The legislation, which was one of FPI’s top legislative priorities, currently awaits approval by the governor.
Death and No Taxes: The Building of Modern Florida
FPI published its second blog post in the “Pursue Equity” series, which is part of the organization’s multi-year research initiative on Florida’s historically discriminatory policies, their evolution, and their impact on all Florida communities today.
In this piece — the first blog post explored historical inequities in Florida’s education system — FPI CEO Sadaf Knight examines the budget balancing act that was achieved in part by exploiting the labor of people who were incarcerated, many of them arrested under Florida’s Black Code laws.
Top 5 Things To Know About the FY 2022-23 Budget and Tax Package, by FPI Staff – On March 14, 2022, the Florida House of Representatives and Senate approved a $112 billion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2022-23, along with a $1.1 billion tax cut package. The budget also includes an additional $3.4 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) state fiscal recovery aid, which Florida lawmakers allocated toward the end of the budget negotiation process. The Legislature relies heavily on federal aid to avoid major budget cuts in the upcoming fiscal year, with federal dollars making up about 35 percent of the entire budget. Furthermore, thanks to increased federal assistance in FY 2020-21 and FY 2021-22, Florida policymakers were able to both avoid deep budget cuts and save general revenue dollars: as of the beginning of the 2022 legislative session, policymakers had $7.3 billion in unallocated general revenue dollars. Read more
While ‘Substantial Progress Achieved’ on School-Based Mental Health Services, More Policy Changes Needed, by Anne Swerlick and Norin Dollard – The Hopeful Futures Campaign, a coalition of national organizations, has issued a new report: America’s School Mental Health Report Card. It includes state-by-state policy recommendations for improving school-based mental health services. Notably, Florida is ranked highest on “funding supports” for school mental health services. It finds that “substantial progress” has been achieved and points to a Florida law authorizing Medicaid funding for school-based health services provided to any Medicaid-eligible child. Read more
Ensuring Florida Students Get All the Financial Aid They Deserve, by Norin Dollard – Filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is required in order to receive Pell Grants and other forms of financial aid. FAFSA is also needed to obtain student loans, and it determines eligibility for work study programs. While it is a federal form, colleges and universities also use the FAFSA to determine state and college aid available to students. Every year, millions of students nationwide leave billions of dollars unclaimed because they did not fill out the FAFSA or did not fill it out completely. Last year, Florida students alone left over $304 million in Pell Grants on the table. Read more