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Politics

State Rep. Mike Caruso’s May message

Saturday, May 4th concluded the 2019 Legislative Session with the traditional Sine Die ceremony.

We spent most of our time on the House Floor the last week debating bills and voting on their final passage, including the state budget and this year’s tax cut package.

I believe this year’s $91.1 billion budget is fiscally responsible and prioritizes funding in the best interest of all Floridians.

In this budget we continued to invest in our student’s success by spending $16 billion for PreK-12 Education, including a $243 per student increase this year.

To help protect our natural resources, we included $686.8 million for Everglades Restoration and Water Protection, $33 million for Florida Forever and $4.2 million for Red Tide Research.

I believe this budget also focuses on providing critical health care services to our most vulnerable citizens with an investment of $598 million to fully fund Florida Kid Care Enrollment and $11.3 million for Homelessness, Opioid and Substance Abuse Services.

In addition, we maintain $3.3 billion in reserves, because, in my opinion, government must responsibly plan for the future, just like Florida families must do.

I am pleased that through smart budgeting, we were again able to provide tax relief to the tune of $121 million for our hard working residents. Relief includes a back to school tax holiday, cutting the business rent tax and a disaster preparedness sales tax holiday before hurricane season to stock up on important products.

I am very proud of all the work we accomplished this Session. The Legislature passed bills to address our continued sober home and opioid crisis, Florida’s water quality, anti-Semitism, texting while driving, election reform and health care, among many other issues.

In just a few short weeks, I believe we accomplished a great deal for Florida’s families.

District 89 Funding Highlights*

$11,500,000: FAU AD Henderson University Lab School

$300,000: JARC Community Works

$325,000 Wayne Barton Study Center After School Program

$500,000: Alzheimer’s Community Care Critical Support Initiative

$150,000: Flagler Museum

$12,000,000: FAU 100

$150,000: Boca Raton Museum of Art

$250,000: Federation Transportation Services

$11,500,000: FAU Jupiter Life Sciences Building

$159,250: Ruth Rales Transportation

$100,000: Florida Holocaust Museum at the Capitol

$2,500,000: Statewide Substance Abuse and Opioid Crisis

$2,500,000: Jewish Day School Security Funding

$91.1 Billion Budget Highlights

$686.8 million: Everglades Restoration and Water Protection

$4.2 million: Red Tide Research

$50 million: Visit Florida

$33 million: Florida Forever

$40 million: Job Growth Grant Fund

$25 million: Hurricane Michael Grant Recovery Program

$21.3 million: Funding for Cultural and Museum Grants

$21.8 million for State Aid to Libraries.

As always it is my honor to serve you in the Florida House. If every I may be of service to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

*All budget items are still subject to veto as of this writing.

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