March 30, 2023

Florida House and Senate Member Requests by District (2023)

Throughout the budget process and legislative session, lawmakers typically request state funds for specific projects or programs. Known as earmarks, these range from building infrastructure (e.g., roads and bridges) to research or community programs. Member projects are important in the appropriations process because they give policymakers an opportunity to advocate for their constituents and address specific needs in their district. Since legislators are more familiar with the needs of their communities, member earmarks offer a way to finance local programs or projects that may otherwise not make it into the state budget (also known as the General Appropriations Act). Within the budget process, policymakers can use earmarks to incentivize fellow legislators to support or oppose the state budget, as they can use their ability to request, approve, or veto funding for projects as leverage.

There are challenges associated with member projects or earmarks. For example, critics argue that earmarks could be used as political favors and result in wasteful spending on unnecessary projects or programs. Furthermore, member project requests are not as visible to the public as the formal budget process and may bypass scrutiny. As Florida TaxWatch notes, some member projects can be “placed in individual line-items or accompanying proviso language that are added to the final appropriations bill without being fully scrutinized and subjected to the budget process.” Also, because member projects are limited and funding requests may exceed available funds, legislators could end up competing for funding, leading to conflicts or the perception of unfairness. Additionally, by prioritizing specific projects, which divert funds from other important areas in the budget, legislative leadership and the governor may inadvertently create friction among lawmakers. Lastly, although policymakers may secure funding for community programs or projects, they will do so on a one-time (i.e., non-recurring) basis, which may not be the best option for projects or programs that require multi-year funding.

While member projects can be effective in directing funding to community needs, earmarks also pose challenges related to transparency, competition among legislators, and the potential misallocation of state resources. Consequently, it is important for legislators to carefully consider the impact of earmarks and for the public to hold policymakers accountable for their choices. 

To assist the public and add transparency to the process, Florida Policy Institute has compiled maps to show Florida House and Senate member project requests by district, amount, and item. You can select any policymaker to see their requests, click on the map directly, or click on the table to be redirected to the original request form.

House Member Requests

Senate Member Requests

Downloadable Resources

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