February 26, 2024

Florida Budget Proposals in Brief: Immigration Enforcement

This post is part of the “Florida Budget Proposals in Brief” blog series, where FPI highlights some of the key components of the House and Senate budget proposals — where they align, how they differ, and what it means for Floridians, communities, and the state economy. Overall, the Senate and House budget proposals for FY 2024-25 are quite similar. Unlike previous years, the joint budget conference committees will not have many significant differences to negotiate. Still, there are some notable variances, and the funding decisions have both fiscal and policy implications for the state.


The Florida Senate passed its fiscal year (FY) 2024-25 budget proposal (SB 2500), which totals $115.9 billion and represents a $578 million (or a 0.50 percent) reduction from the current budget.[1] The Florida House’s FY 2024-25 budget proposal (HB 5001) totals $115.5 billion and represents a $969 million (or a 0.83 percent) reduction compared to the current budget.

The next step in the budget process will be for a Joint Budget Commission to meet and reconcile any differences to propose a General Appropriations Act (GAA) for FY 2024-25. Both chambers will then vote on the proposed GAA, and once it is passed, it will be sent to the governor, who can make line item vetoes and sign the bill into law. The Legislature can then override vetoes if two-thirds of the members, in each chamber, vote to do so. The final budget will be enacted as of July 1, 2024.

Immigration Enforcement

A measure (SB 1718) passed in 2023 is a sweeping anti-immigrant law with an estimated economic impact of up to $12.6 billion. For FY 2024-25, the governor proposed $7.43 million to carry out SB 1718, including its E-verify, hospital data collection, and “Unauthorized Alien Transport Program (UAT)” mandates. The UAT program started as a project in 2022 with interest received from the federal government for COVID-19 recovery to “facilitate the transfer of unauthorized aliens out of the state,” including subcontracting to private transportation companies to do so.[2] Despite national outcry, the 2023 Legislature made UAT a permanent program and allocated an additional $12 million for FY 2023-24.

For FY 2024-25, however, it is unclear if either chamber adds SB 1718 (2023) funding. For the UAT program, the House and Senate propose carrying over the unexpended balance of funds already appropriated, with no other funding allotted. There are no new positions or general revenue funds allocated to the Department of Commerce to enforce SB 1718’s E-Verify mandate, as the governor’s budget proposed. However, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) requested four positions to enforce SB 1718’s hospital data collection provision, and all three proposals — House, Senate, and governor’s — add AHCA positions above the current-year.[3] The governor’s budget proposal website indicates these positions are for SB 1718, but the Legislature does not mention SB 1718 in its proposals or implementing bills. 

State leaders continue to move additional anti-immigrant measures this session,[4] but so far, none are reflected in either chamber’s budget proposals.


[1] For analysis of top-line budget figures, FPI uses the current General Appropriations Act (FY 2023-24), including vetoes, for sections 1-7, which totals $116.5 billion. However, this does not include back-of-the-bill sections.  For the current GAA, including vetoes, plus back-of-the-bill appropriations, supplemental appropriations, and transfer totals, please see the Florida Legislature’s “Fiscal Analysis in Brief: 2023 Legislative Session: Chart 8.”

[2] Laws of Florida, Ch. 2022-156, sec. 85.

[3] For the FT 2023-24 FY, AHCA has 655.5 approved positions. For FY 2024-25, the House recommends 679.5, the Senate 669.5, and the governor 683.5.

[4] SM 598/HM 669, SB 1036/HB 1449, and SB 1174/HB 1451 have all passed at least one committee in both chambers. Broader bills that also would harm immigrants — SB 1492/HB 433 and SB 1324/HB 1589 — are also moving.

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