December 6, 2022

Analysis: Florida Policy Institute

Florida Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget: Opportunity to aid struggling families

| 7/19/2022

Executive Summary

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the fiscal year (FY) 2022-23 budget into law on June 2, 2022. After accounting for $3.1 billion in vetoes, the post-veto General Appropriations Act (GAA) totals $110 billion, an 8.3 percent increase over the FY 2021-22 budget.

Introduction: Families Still Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Wake of Recession

A thriving economy is one in which all residents can access what they need to live healthy, happy, and prosperous lives: safe housing, nutritious food, affordable health care, economic security, and opportunities for enjoyment and recreation. On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of the FY 2022-23 state budget represented an opportunity to make bold investments in each of these areas — to secure a strong foundation for the state’s future.

In 2021, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced that the economic recession spurred by COVID-19 technically lasted only two months, ending in April 2020. Additionally, although the COVID-19 recession was the shortest in U.S. history, the NBER also recognized the “unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy.” Indeed, despite being in a period of economic expansion, marked by indicators such as historically low unemployment rates and job growth, the depth and breadth of the economic hardships brought on by the pandemic are still reverberating throughout Florida.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey shows that many Florida households continue to struggle. As of May 2022, among households in Florida with children: 18 percent reported a loss of employment income; 26 percent reported little to no confidence in their ability to pay their next rent or mortgage payment; and 22 percent reported not having enough food to eat in the week prior to the survey. Across the board, these hardships are heightened for Black and Latina/o households in Florida.

Many economists warn that the U.S. is headed for another recession in 2023, and another lesson of the COVID-19 recession is how precarious shared resources are to any disruptions. Without the massive influx of federal pandemic relief dollars, the hardships Americans faced would have undoubtedly been much more severe.

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In the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store, a food drive meets needs
In the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store, a food drive meets needs

Over the course of the morning, volunteers will hand out boxes full of produce and pantry items. More than 300 people will walk — or drive — away with cartons of eggs and gallons of milk, bread and pastries and cereal. They’ll leave with bags of bananas, and apples and meats that they’ll feed to their families.

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