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2013 demonstrated the successes of House Republicans’ continued focus on supporting policies that promote and encourage economic growth and opportunity for every Floridian. Our diligent work to promote good public policy, guided by our conservative principles, has had a positive impact on Floridians and our state is now setting the standard for the nation in many major policy areas.
In 2013, Florida once again passed a fiscally-responsible, balanced budget that meets our state’s critical needs without raising taxes on hardworking families and job creators. Though our economy is showing signs of improvement, government must responsibly plan for the future, just like Florida families must do. This responsible, balanced budget struck the right balance between funding our state’s priorities, keeping taxes low, and adding $2.8 billion to our reserves to prepare for any potential economic uncertainty.
The budget was a big win for students and teachers with an additional $1.5 billion in K-12 education funding, including $480 million that could be used by local school districts for teacher pay raises. Additionally, the budget recognized the hard work and dedication of our state employees and law enforcement officers.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2013-14 budget continued the Florida House’s commitment to growing Florida’s economy and creating jobs by providing $198.4 million for various economic development programs. It fully funded the Transportation Work Program at $8.5 billion so that Florida can continue to develop its infrastructure system.
House Republicans’ dedication to fiscally responsible budgeting has put the state on a more sustainable path for the future. During the economic downturn, Republicans made the tough choices necessary to balance the budget without creating barriers to job creation. As a result, the state’s budget outlook has vastly improved and we are projecting to have a budget surplus for the next fiscal year. These encouraging estimates should help us provide meaningful tax relief to Florida’s hardworking families in the 2014 legislative session. While this is all certainly welcomed news, we must continue to stick to our conservative principles and once again work to develop a fiscally responsible, balanced budget that maximizes every tax dollar.