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February 8, 2021

Expanding Medicaid will aid COVID-19 recovery [The Gainesville Sun]

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.

Diane Dimperio writes:

"The good news is that Florida will not have a $5 billion deficit in the fiscal year that begins July 1. The bad news is that state economists are predicting a $3.3 billion deficit.

Since the instinctive reaction to a budget deficit is to cut spending, the governor has already asked state administrators to submit reduced department budgets. Our biggest spending categories are health/human services and education.

States have to live within their incomes and can’t borrow money for operations. If we don’t want to gut desperately needed services, legislators need to find ways to increase income. The Florida Policy Institute has identified over $4 billion in revenue proposals that would more than balance the budget [emphasis added].

Some of these proposals would close the corporate loopholes that make Florida “business friendly” and may be controversial, but let’s think about small businesses. Small businesses, often referred to as the backbone of the Florida economy, have been responsible for creating 60% of all new jobs since 2012."

Read more on gainesville.com

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