Florida Legislative Update

June 29, 2015

For your reference, we would like to provide you with an important legislative update prepared by Edward J. Carbone, Managing Partner of the Tampa office.

The Florida Legislature’s first 2015 special session ended on June 19, 2015, with the passage of a $78.7 billion state budget – the only bill that state lawmakers are constitutionally required to pass each year. Governor Scott signed the budget on June 23, although he vetoed $500 million of spending.

The impasse with regard to the expansion of Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act remained unresolved through the special session, however. The Senate remains in favor of expansion, while the House and Governor remain opposed. This was originally expected to spell doom for the Low Income Pool program, but the state and federal governments managed to come to a compromise resolution that extended the program while reducing its size.

For 2015-16, the Low Income Pool program will be limited to $1 billion in combined federal and state funds – approximately half of the $2.2 billion previously funded. The final budget deal included approximately $400 million in state funds, which will be combined with $600 million in federal funds for the 2015-16 Low Income Pool program. The limit for 2016-17 will be further decreased, with only $608 million in combined state and federal funding for the Low Income Pool program.

If you have any questions concerning this topic, please contact Ed Carbone.