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The Florida State Budget

Florida's revenues and expenses depend on yearly planning to meet both long- and short-term goals. A variety of taxes provide the funds needed to supply services that Florida citizens expect from their state government.

The Budgeting Process
The construction of Florida's fiscal policies involves cooperation between the legislative and executive branches of the state government.

The budgeting process begins when both the governor and the legislature request input from state agencies as to their budgetary needs for the coming year. The agencies have until September to formulate and submit their budget needs for the following fiscal year.

The governor then formulates a new budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which in Florida runs from July of one year through June of the following year. The governor must submit a budget 45 days before the regular session of the state legislature. After careful study, the governor usually presents the proposed budget to the legislators and voters in the State of the State Address in January.

Governor's Recommended Budget Fiscal Year 2004-05

The Legislature's Role
During the legislative session, each house of the legislature prepares its own version of a recommended budget. These budgets are usually based on what the governor and the various state agencies have requested.

Although the budgets prepared in the house and the senate may be similar, there are usually differences between the two bills. To resolve these differences, a joint conference committee is set up to work out a compromise that must either be accepted or rejected by both houses. Neither house can amend the compromise version of the general appropriations bill.

The Governor's Role
After the general appropriations bill is passed by both houses of the legislature, it is sent to the governor. The governor has the right to exercise a line-item veto, which means the governor can reject specific parts of the appropriations bill without rejecting the entire bill. Sometimes the governor may veto appropriations for specific programs because they lack merit; powerful legislators promote these "pet" projects because it helps their standing within their districts. The legislature can override a line-item veto with a two-thirds majority vote of both houses.

It is the governor's duty to carry out the provisions of the new fiscal budget. Agencies within the governor's office develop plans and timetables for spending the funds appropriated for the new fiscal year.