FloridaCommerce Applauds Governor Ron DeSantis' Focus on Florida's Future Budget Building on Florida's Blueprint for Economic Success

Dec 05, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, FloridaCommerce applauds Governor Ron DeSantis for proposing strategic investments that build upon Florida’s blueprint for economic success in the Fiscal Year 2024-25 Focus on Florida’s Future Budget. The Governor’s budget builds on years of bold, effective policy initiatives and strategies that have positioned Florida as a model for the nation. This approach has ensured that families in Florida will continue to have the opportunity to live in the best state in the nation for years to come. Included in the Focus on Florida’s Future Budget is $100 million for Broadband initiatives, $100 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund and $25 million for the Rural Infrastructure Fund. Additionally, the Governor has recommended $20 million for the third consecutive year of the Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Program.  

Under Governor DeSantis' leadership, Florida's unemployment rate has been lower than the nation for 36 consecutive months and is the lowest among the ten most populous states. These rankings demonstrate that Florida's policies continue to elevate job seekers and job creators despite bad policies and economic uncertainty on the national stage. Florida has the 14th largest global economy, and people worldwide are confident in Florida's future, and for good reason. Since 2019, more businesses have been formed in Florida than in any other state— 2.7 million since Governor DeSantis took office. With targeted investments in key industries like manufacturing, technology, and research, Florida continues to grow its footprint and invest in our vital talent pipeline. 

"The investments we make today have long-term impacts on the future of our state and country. Fortunately, thanks to Governor DeSantis’ strong leadership, Florida continues to strengthen year after year,” said Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly. "Today's Focus on Florida’s Future Budget builds on Florida's strategic investments in workforce and infrastructure growth to further ensure that if a great company is looking for a place to do business, a mother is looking for a place to raise her family, or a college student is looking for a high-wage competitive job, choosing Florida is a no-brainer."

Highlights of Governor DeSantis’ Focus on Florida’s Future Budget include the following investments: 

  • $396,030,372 for the Community Development Block Grant—Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program to address long-term needs related to Hurricanes Irma, Michael, Sally, and Ian as well as Mitigation to address housing, infrastructure and economic development needs that remain after other assistance has been exhausted.
  • $2,200,000 for Military Base Protection to support military base protection, economic diversification, and base resiliency.
  • $208,570,000 for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program. 
  • $175,228,833 for the third tranche of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to continue supporting Florida’s small and very small businesses. 
  • $100,000,000 for the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time, income-qualified homebuyers for the purchase of a primary residence in the community in which they work and serve.
  • $100,000,000 for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program to administer competitive grants to expand broadband infrastructure and connectivity through broadband planning, deployment, mapping and adoption activities. 
  • $100,000,000 for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which assists income-qualified families with home heating and cooling costs.
  • $100,000,000 for Florida’s Job Growth Grant Fund (JGGF) to support workforce and infrastructure projects across the state.
  • $89,495,000 for affordable housing programs including State Apartment Incentive Loan Program (SAIL), Homeownership Assistance Program, Predevelopment Loan Program, and the Catalyst Program. 
  • $25,000,000 for the Rural Infrastructure Fund (RIF) Grant Program to continue to facilitate the planning, preparing, and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities to encourage job creation, capital investment, and strengthening and diversification of rural economies by promoting tourism, trade, and economic development.
  • $25,000,000 for the Local Government Revolving Emergency Bridge Loan Program that provides capital to local governments recovering from a federally declared disaster.  
  • $20,000,000 for the Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Program to support the state’s ongoing efforts to bring the best and most talented officers to the state of Florida. 
  • $7,000,000 for Defense Infrastructure Grants to provide funds to support activities related to mission sustainment, encroachment reduction or prevention, and base retention.     
  • $4,000,000 for the Florida Sports Foundation to award major, regional, small market, and sports industry assistance grants to assist Florida communities with securing, hosting, and retaining sporting events and sport-related businesses, which have a measurable positive impact on the community.
  • $3,500,000 for CareerSource Florida to engage in stakeholder outreach to ensure Floridians have access to workforce training opportunities. 
  • $3,000,000 in additional funding for the Defense Support Task Force for the enhancement of military installations and surrounding communities, retention and recruitment of military and military spouses, diversification of the Florida defense economy and accommodation and resiliency of military missions.
  • $1,873,810 to implement the duties and responsibilities of E-Verify to combat illegal immigration and safeguard Florida's families and communities.

Additional funding includes: 

  • $25,000,000 for Economic Development Tools to fulfill contractually obligated performance-based payments. 
  • $2,000,000 for enhanced Cybersecurity efforts. 
$3,001,252 for the Community Services Block Grant Program to assist low to moderate income individuals within the 24 counties impacted by Hurricane Ian to address unmet needs, specifically for housing, and to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
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