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