Fighting to Keep Government Efficient for the Future
The Governor’s total recommendation in the Fighting for Florida’s Future Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 is $83.5 billion. The General Revenue portion is $30.8 billion. The General Revenue funds available for the FY 2017-2018 budget year increased $1.3 billion from the previous fiscal year, a 4.3 percent increase. Florida’s total reserves are $5 billion. This increase is a continued indication that Florida’s economy is strong.
The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget recommends $1.1 billion in savings and a decrease of 266 positions as a result of state agencies’ continued efforts to become more efficient and save tax dollars.
In order to achieve even greater efficiency and reduce the burden of government on taxpayers, Governor Scott is proposing a three-tiered bonus pay system to incentivize state workers at every executive, cabinet and judicial agency. Under Governor Scott’s performance bonus proposal, state employees can earn up to an extra $1,500, if each tier is met, ensuring that Florida remains efficient for the future:
Tier 1: $500 if the agency meets its performance measures; Tier 2: $500 if the employee is rated a minimum of “Satisfactory”; Tier 3: $500 only to be awarded if budget savings are realized (amount determined by agency head based on realized savings).
Contract and Lease Renegotiations
Savings resulting from contract and lease renegotiations have generated a statewide savings of $51.9 million since Fiscal Year 2012-2013. This includes savings in the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget of $1.3 million. Savings will continue to grow as additional contracts are identified and renegotiated to provide the best return on investment for Florida families.
Reduction in Debt Service
Because Florida continues to pay off debt, Florida taxpayers are saving money. The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget realizes a savings of $52.4 million due to reduced debt service obligations and State Board of Administration fees associated with the issuance of bonds for public schools, Florida colleges, state universities, and state facilities.
Florida has paid down $4.1 billion in outstanding bond debt, as well as the $3.5 billion loan for the unemployment compensation program, resulting in an almost 25 percent reduction in outstanding debt since Governor Scott took office. Florida has significantly less debt per capita than New York, Illinois and California. In fact, California and Illinois have more than double the debt per capita of Florida and New York has nearly triple the debt per capita. Over the last five fiscal years, refinancing activity has generated gross debt service savings of approximately $2.1 billion. Refunding transactions executed over the last five years total nearly $10.4 billion, lowering the interest rate on about 43 percent of Florida’s total outstanding debt. With historically low interest rates and Florida’s AAA credit ratings, Florida has saved an additional $247.7 million in gross debt service thus far in fiscal year 2016-17. The state has maintained its AAA credit ratings and most recently in 2016, the Turnpike system was upgraded by all three ratings agencies.
State Employee Health Coverage Savings
The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget saves taxpayers $21.8 million by proposing that all employees pay equally for health insurance coverage - $50 per month for individual coverage and $180 per month for family coverage. This reduces employer contribution for health insurance coverage for employees in Senior Management Service and Selected Exempt Service systems. Governor Scott has proposed this plan every year since taking office.
Dependent Eligibility Verification Services
The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget recommends $1.2 million for one-time auditing services and continuous quality control services to determine dependent eligibility in the state employee health insurance program. This audit is estimated to save taxpayers more than $45 million per year by reducing waste, fraud and abuse in the state health plan.
Efficient Management of State Vehicles
The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget recommends more than $450,000 for the new, single Fleet Management system that will make Florida’s state government fleet management one of the most efficient in the nation. Florida owns nearly 25,000 vehicles, one of the largest public sector fleets in the nation, and is currently managed through six separate systems. The new system will streamline distribution of real-time information to all agency fleet users, customers and management. The system will more than pay for itself within the first year after implementation through increased efficiency, and saves Florida’s taxpayers millions in the years to come.
Formulary Management The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget implements a new model for managing Florida’s employee prescription drug program. This model will save the state approximately $51.2 million annually and has been successfully implemented in eight other states across the country.
Motorist Modernization Project
The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget recommends $9.9 million to continue the Motorist Modernization Phase I Project that will replace the Motorist Services credentialing system for driver license and identification card issuance. This investment will serve customers better by offering additional online services and instantaneous updates to motorist information and driver license data. These improvements will mean shorter transaction times for customers and improved overall quality of the Florida motorist data.
Additionally, the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget recommends $4.1 million for the first year of the Motorist Modernization Phase II Project that will update the existing Florida Real Time Vehicle Information System (FRVIS). When completed, Phases I and II will operate seamlessly to reduce costs and provide significantly greater operational efficiencies for consumers.