By
Sadaf Knight
|
June 27, 2021

A wasted chance to reduce inequity in Florida [Herald Tribune]

This post was last updated on September 29, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Sadaf Knight writes:

This year should have been the year for tax code reform in Florida. The state's lawmakers had the chance to set Florida up for an equitable, long-term recovery by prioritizing investment in programs and services to help low-income Floridians, who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic and the economic recession.

But while state leaders were able to preserve important investments in education and health care in next year’s budget – thanks to short-term federal aid from the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act – they did not close corporate tax loopholes or fix Florida’s upside-down tax code. And Senate Bill 50, which takes effect July 1, should serve as a cautionary tale on how not to reform the tax code.

...

The Florida Policy Institute has developed a list of 21 common-sense measures that would generate $4.5 billion annually in revenue [emphasis added]. While Senate Bill 50 may have missed the mark, it’s never too early to prepare for the next legislative session. Let’s make 2022 the year that our state changes course and enacts tax code reforms that foster economic stability for all Floridians.

Sadaf Knight is the CEO of the Florida Policy Institute, which is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization. [emphasis added]"

Read more on heraldtribune.com

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