Phil Prazan writes:
"The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic punched a $880 million hole in the state budget in April. More negative financial effects are expected throughout the summer. Congress sent several billion dollars to Florida by the Federal CARES Act, but it can’t use it to fill the hole in the budget -- as of now.
Statewide leaders are split on calling for more “flexibility” in what the money can be used for -- Gov. Ron DeSantis and Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, on one side, and Sen. Rick Scott and Florida Speaker of the House Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, on the other. Florida Senior U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has not yet returned a request for comment.
'Right now it’s a big question mark on whether we’ll have to return that money,' said Holly Bullard, from the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added]. Without more flexibility, the State of Florida could be in a financial mess similar to what it was in during the Great Recession.
'Five billion dollars is the budget for the state university system. It’s a huge amount of money, and for us to not be able to use for revenue backfill is very startling,' Bullard said."