After a three-day extension, the Regular Session of the Florida Legislature came to a close (sine die) at 8:52 p.m. on Monday, May 8. The motion to adjourn sine die, Latin for ‘without day,’ is the last action of a session of the Florida legislature.
The House and Senate chambers approved an $82.4 billion state budget for fiscal year 2017-2018. SB 2500, the General Appropriations Act, passed the Senate (34-4) and the House (98-14). The budget will go to Governor Rick Scott who has line item veto authority. There is speculation that because of differences with the legislature over funding of priorities the governor may veto the entire budget, which would prompt a special session.
The final status of FCCB budget priorities include:
Pregnancy Support Services – Catholic Days at the Capitol Issue: Despite a failure to pass a bill adding the Florida Pregnancy Care Network to statute, funding for this network of pregnancy help centers remains at its current level. $4 million is allocated in the budget to provide services such as counseling, referrals, material support, training, and pregnancy and childbirth education to pregnant mothers as they prepare to parent or place their babies for adoption. FCCB has been supportive of the program since its inception in 2005.
Criminal Justice Reform Task Force – Catholic Days at the Capitol Issue: Despite the inability to pass legislation to establish a task force, $300,000 is in the budget to fund criminal justice reform research. Rather than continuing to address criminal justice measures each year in a piecemeal fashion, FCCB supports a comprehensive review of Florida’s criminal justice systems.