Florida lawmakers will have $7.4 million less to work with than they thought this legislative session, state economists estimated on Thursday.
But that’s a minuscule loss to the state’s general revenue fund, the pot of money that pays for schools, agencies and lawmaker projects.
Overall, the fund for the 2019-20 fiscal year is estimated at $33.5 billion, about $600 million more than the revised estimate for 2018-19.
Legislators base their budget each year on state economist estimates, and lawmakers are required to balance the budget each year. That’s their sole legal responsibility during the annual two-month legislative session, which started March 5 this year.
The Legislature’s chief economist, Amy Baker, said Thursday that the national economy is slowing down thanks to tariffs and the end of a decade of economic expansion, and that affects Florida.
For next fiscal year, general revenue is expected to be $208 million less than they thought in December. But the current year is expected to be stronger than expected by $201 million, thanks to strong corporate income tax returns.