Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hurricane Irma

Marsan is stuck at her home with no power and limited cell phone service. Lesley is back in the office today, catching up on communications and cleaning the mild debris from the parking area. We hope you are all safe. We may be slow to respond to emails or calls this week, but we hope to be in full working order by Monday. Thank you for your understanding.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Interim Committee Week - CANCELLED!

Interim Committee Week has been cancelled due to the hurricane.

We will let you know more when we have the information.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Senate voted to over-ride the Governor’s Veto of SB 2500

The Senate voted to over-ride the Governor’s Veto of  SB 2500. Senator Latvala explained that this is a fall back in case the chambers cannot come to agreement on a  new bill and they have an option to vote on 2500 to keep the schools open. Latvala has filed another bill to increase the FEFP by $215 million, however, the Senate does not know from where they will take the money. There has been some discussion to shift the cost back to the school district by increasing the required local effort. Senator Simmons raised the legality about have having two bills dealing with the same subject , but received an inadequate response.

They also voted to expand the scope of the special session contrary to the Governor’s proclamation. The additional bills presented:
4A Medicaid
6A Public Records
8A Medical Use of Marijuana

House is in the Appropriations committee considering 1A which includes Visit Florida, Enterprise Florida and the training grant (available to technical centers).  Bill 1A passed on of the House Appropriations committee.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

County by County Allocations

This report reflects only items contained in the Conference Report on Senate Bill 2500, the 2017-2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA), which are identifiable to specific counties. State agencies will further allocate other funds contained in the General Appropriations Act based on authorized distribution methodologies. This report was produced prior to the veto process.

Click here to view the entire document.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Legislative Update

The Appropriations bill and the Implementing bill were provided to the Governor around noon today. He has 15 days ( Thursday June 15) to act on the bills. He did not received 7069 or 374.

SB 2500     Appropriations
SB 2502     Implementing the 2017-2018 General                        Appropriations Act

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

2017 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

2017 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday
June 2 through June 4, 2017

The 2017 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 2, 2017, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, 2017. During this holiday period, qualifying items related to disaster preparedness are exempt from sales tax. However, the sales tax holiday does not apply to the rental or repair of any of the qualifying items. Additionally, the sales tax holiday does not apply to sales in a theme park, entertainment complex, public lodging establishment, or airport.
Qualifying Items

Selling for $10 or less:- Reusable ice (reusable ice packs)

Selling for $20 or less:- Any portable self-powered light source (powered by battery, solar, hand-crank, or gas):  Flashlights  Lanterns  Candles

Selling for $25 or less:- Any gas or diesel fuel container, including LP gas and kerosene containers

Selling for $30 or less:- Batteries, including rechargeable batteries, listed sizes only (excluding automobile and boat batteries):  AA-cell  C-cell  D-cell  6-volt  9-volt - Coolers and ice chests (food-storage; nonelectrical)

Selling for $50 or less:- Tarpaulins (tarps)- Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting - Ground anchor systems - Tie-down kits- Bungee cords - Ratchet straps- Radios (powered by battery, solar, or hand-crank)  Two-way  Weather band

Selling for $750 or less:- Portable generators used to provide light or communications, or to preserve food in the event of a power outage.
First-aid kits (always exempt)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cuts to Perkins

Trump Budget Pushes Big Cuts for Perkins
Today, the White House released President Trump’s full budget request to Congress for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. This document outlines the Administration's spending priorities for the coming year fiscal year, including federal education and workforce training programs.  The budget proposes drastic cuts in federal support for CTE, including a $168 million cut in the Perkins Basic State Grant! It also proposes to put an additional $20 million in the Perkins National Programs to establish a new grant that would support only certain CTE programs in STEM fields that are able to compete for funds.
The cut would be so deep that it would actually trigger a “hold harmless” provision in the Perkins Act and its “ratable reduction” rule, which means that certain states would see disproportionately larger cuts to their funding allocations before all states are reduced. See the estimated impact of the president’s budget on state allocations here.
Overall, the budget would cut $9 billion (13 percent) in total from the Department of Education and $2.5 billion (21 percent) from the Department of Labor. Many programs supporting students and job seekers would be drastically cut or eliminated under the president’s budget plan, including:
  • Adult education would be cut by $96 million.
  • Teacher Quality Partnership Grants for teacher education would be eliminated.
  • ESSA Title IV grants that can support career guidance programs and other CTE-related initiatives would be eliminated.
  • ESSA Title II funds to support effective educators would be eliminated.
  • WIOA youth, adult, and dislocated worker state grants would see a combined cut of over $1 billion.
We call on Congress to reject the Trump cuts to education and job training. Take a few minutes to tell your lawmakers on Capitol Hill that we cannot cut our way to a 21st century workforce!
Your ACTE membership and dues directly impact our ability to serve as your advocate for CTE programs on Capitol Hill, and our efforts would not be possible without your support. Learn more about ACTE’s policy activities and the latest news on ACTE’s CTE Policy Watch blog. If you have any questions, please contact the ACTE Public Policy Department.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


None of the major bills we have been following have made it to the Governor’s desk. Press releases are implying the Governor is considering line item vetoes to PREK-12 and

1079 (education train). The Governor has also said he could veto the whole budget, so wait and see.

Monday, May 15, 2017


No budget bills, no 374 ( community college bill) no 7069 ( education train, school districts asking Governor to veto)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Budget Conference Report

This is a nice summary of the events to follow now that the budget has been released provided by Chris Doolin:
Monday to be last day of 2017 Legislature – Session extended to comply with Constitutional “Cooling Off” Period.
A conference report(s) is expected to be released today Friday, May 5, after budget negotiations are complete. When it is published, it is subject to the "72-Hour Cooling off period" dictated by the Florida Constitution. A vote may then take place after the 72 hours has elapsed Monday, May 8.
Conference Reports must be accepted in total – they can only be approved or rejected – no changes.
Florida Constitution Article III, Section 19(d) SEVENTY-TWO HOUR PUBLIC REVIEW PERIOD.  All general appropriation bills shall be furnished to each member of the legislature, each member of the cabinet, the governor, and the chief justice of the supreme court at least seventy-two hours before final passage by either house of the legislature of the bill in the form that will be presented to the governor.
After the Budget is passed by both the Senate and the House, and signed by both presiding officers, it is sent to the Governor for review. 
Within 15 days of receipt of the budget – must act.   The Governor has several options:
  • Sign the bill it toto
  • Veto the bill in toto
  • Veto portions of the bill
  • Veto line-items within the bill  
  • Allow the bill to become law without signing.
Governor Scott has utilized his veto power more than any recent Governor – See following chart

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

No Budget Yet

The Legislature has not agreed to a budget yet. They are expected to go into extended session.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Legislative Updates

Good morning,

·         SB 1362 which has many education issues wrapped in it goes to the Senate floor today.
·         Senate passed the $25,000 increase on property tax exemption- this version applies the increase to values between $100,000 to $125,000- This version goes back to the House
·         Negron and Corcoran are still in negotiations on the Budget- 12:00 p.m. tonight is the deadline for the budget to be laid on the desk in order to meet the 72 hr. cooling off period. 

·         “This is another step, I believe, in eroding the authority of our local school districts,” Montford said, referring to provision dealing with “local educational agencies.” “It really removes local governments from having any say in deciding about charter schools,” he argued, regarding the zoning and land use language. “I believe we are making a mistake if we cut out the local governments. Below is the link to the language which passed the Senate and School districts oppose:

Annoucements of Candidacy

Adam Putnam Announces for Governor 
Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam has finally put an end to years of speculation: he’s officially running for governor of Florida in 2018.
Putnam filed his paperwork to run for the state’s highest office on Monday.

Gwen Graham, former Congress-woman and daughter of former Governor/US Senator Bob Graham to Announce Run for Governor
Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham is headed to Miami to make a “major announcement” on Tuesday, likely announcing her intentions to run for Florida governor in 2018.   Graham’s former communications director Matt Harringer made the announcement Monday afternoon.

Matt Caldwell Announces for Ag Commissioner – 
Setting up a primary battle against fellow lawmaker Denise Grimsley, state Rep. Matt Caldwell announced Monday he will run for agriculture commissioner next year.
The announcement was not a surprise: Caldwell, R-North Fort Myers, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent months for a political committee that could play an important role in his campaign.  But it formally sets the stage for a primary race against Grimsley, R-Sebring, with both candidates touting their long roots in the state and ties to the agriculture industry.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Legislative Update

Good morning,
Here is where we landed over the weekend, if you were not checking the blog or reading the emails.
Technical Colleges/Centers
·         No Performance funding-The House folded on this issue  after lunch yesterday.
·         An increase of $3,713,917 will be include in the Workforce fund for equity. 
That amount represents $1.3 million in new money and they rolled the money allocated last your for SIS into the fund for distribution. This is an  attempt to bring those below 100% up. 
·         Okaloosa Technical College got $150,000 to expand their welding program
·         RiverOak  Technical College will receive $300,000 to expand the Health programs.

FEFP got a .34% increase.

There is still deliberation on other areas of the budget. Until the final version comes out tomorrow, we will not see the full picture. I am uncomfortable until I actually see the numbers in the proposed budget. At that time we will see the allocations for the Workforce fund to you.

I was unable to get a straight answer on why they dropped our performance money, but I do have an opinion. It will be shared at a later date.
The Education bills I am following are still out there, so the games are not over until the handkerchief drops on Friday.
The budget staff in the House and Senate have been great advocates for us. After the dust settles I will send you their contact information so you can thank them.
I also will be providing you a proposed plan of action for the next session. 
I know your Graduation ceremonies are coming up, please consider inviting your Senator or Representative to speak.  There will be some talking points coming forward for your consideration  to use in your discussions with them.
I want to thank those of you who did take the time over the last year to reach out to your legislators, it could have been worse if you had not done so.

These are some issues still left to be resolved, which will have an impact:
·         Sharing local millage with Charters SB376/HB5103
·         Schools of Hope HB5105/SB7101
·         High Impact Charters SB976/HB7101
·         Cost per student station New Construction SB 1598
Remember you can watch the action at

Saturday, April 29, 2017


The committee met late after 12:00 and the Senate presented their offer which did not accept any of Workforce issues I reported as the House position last night. 
The Committee took a brief recess and the House came back and responded as follows:
House accepts the Senate position with NO performance incentive funding 
House accepts the Senate position of and increase of  $3,717,917 for equity.
The District Workforce fund is now at $366,340,160 for 2017-2018 ( an increase over last year). We have not seen a run on these numbers yet. It will be available when the budget hits the table for the 72 hr. cooling off period before the final vote.
Items kicked up to the chairs are:
Baker County School District Expansion
Clara White mission
Educating and Integrating Florida’s Adult  
Newly Arrive  Growing Hispanic community
RiverOak Technical College expansion

Higher Ed. Update

The House and Senate do not agree on School District Workforce funding. The issue is kicked up to Appropriation chairs.

Senate Offer

House Offer

Pre-K12 Post Meeting Update

As in the Prek-12 committee have completed their negotiations. All unresolved issues are kicked up to the chairs.

Senate Offer 1

House Offer 2

Higher Ed. Update

The Higher Ed. Committee is noticed for an 11:30 meeting.


Conference committee for Prek-12 noticed for 10:30 this morning. Since the same people from the Senate sit of both Higher Ed and Prek-12, Higher Ed. will have to meet later. Actually, they could be kicked up to the Appropriation chairs at noon.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Update: House Offer 1 - Higher Ed. Committee

Good evening,
The House maintained their position on the $4.5 million in Performance based incentives.
The House increase the additional funds for equity to $5,768,155.
This puts the total Workforce fund at $368,659,398.
The House maintained its position on $265,000 for Baker County to expand PSAV programs.
The House excepted the Senate position of $150,000 for the expansion of a welding program at Okaloosa Technical College ( use term “College”).
The House increased the Senate position to $300,000 for the expansion of PSAV programs at RiverOak Technical College.
The House accepted the Senate position of the SIS money. So no continuation for funds.
It is very important that you go back to the people you contacted today and thank them for their support.

Circle back to your Senators and ask them to support the House position on all the items above.

House Offer 1 - Higher Ed. Committee, available online at

House Offer 1 - Implementing Bill Proviso

Available online at

Higher Education Committee @ 7:30 p.m

Higher Education Committee conference scheduled for 7:30. Go to
to view.

Pre-K Conference Happening NOW!

PREK-12 conference committee is noticed for 6:15 p.m. 
You should be able to listen or view it real time at


The Higher Education nor the Prek-12 conference committees have not noticed any meeting. It appears they may wait until the evening.

Continue to have people contact the individuals we discussed earlier and the local senators and representations.

Helpful Statistics to Reference When Contacting Your Representatives.

Here is some helpful information to use when talking to your legislatures. 

Funded Certifications by Career Cluster
Career Cluster
Health Science
Architecture & Construction
Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
Law, Public Safety & Security
Information Technology
Engineering and Technology Education

Top 10 Funded Certifications
Cert ID
Cert Title
National Licensed Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN)
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Certified Welder
HVAC Excellence EmploymentReady - Air Conditioning
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
Law Enforcement Officer
CompTIA A+
Correctional Officer
HVAC Excellence Employment Ready - Heat Pump
ASE - Electrical/Electronic Systems (A6)

They still haven't noticed the higher education conference meeting for today.

Time to Make Some Calls

Good morning!

Please call Representative Ahern’s Capitol and district office before  this morning, now if you see this (earlier the better). He is co-chair of the Higher Ed. Conference committee. Ask him to maintain the House position on Performance Incentive Funding for the Tech Centers $4.5 million (first Priority) and the SIS money $2.7 million(second priority).
Capitol number- 850-717-5066
District Office- 727-395-2512

Additionally, call Senator Galvano and request the performance incentive funding for Technical centers. Thank him for the increase to the  school district Workforce fund for  equity.
Capitol- 850-487-5021
District- 941-741-3401

You should also contact your local rep or Senator.
The committee has not be noticed yet this morning. Last night it was thought they may meet at 8:30. No meeting has been noticed yet.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

First Senate Offer Page 1

You will find the first Senate offer pg. 1:

Total Workforce fund  was originally $366,903,660 in the Senate offer, their current offer is $366,340,160. The Senate  offer does not include any performance incentive money, nor does it roll over the SIS funds.
Please email the representatives on the committee and ask them to maintain their position on the performance funding and the rollover of the SIS. This needs to be done ASAP, as they will be reconvening at 8:30 in the morning.
As a result of the compromise between the Leadership the allocation for  the Higher Education committee was reduced by 22 million.

Legislative Conferencing 2017 Begins

Good afternoon,                             

The conference process will be starting today. Each sub-committee ( Higher Ed., PREK-12, Corrections, Health, etc.) will be meeting providing a 1 hour notice. The Senate will bring forward their offer #1 at the first meeting. Then the House will bring forward a counter offer at the next meeting. As agreement is reached each item dropped out of the discussion. Any items on which they cannot agree will be bumped to the Appropriations chairs at noon on Saturday, April 29. Those items which the Appropriations chairs cannot agree to will then be bumped to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate.

The final budget must be dropped on the members’ desks 72 hours prior to the vote on the final budget.