May 27, 2020

Three reasons to stop new highways from being built [Orlando Sentinel]

This post was last updated on December 8, 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.

The scope of the forthcoming recession caused by COVID-19 is jarring: More than 1 in 5 working people in Florida have filed for unemployment. Our state is overly reliant on the sales tax, and since tourism, which makes up 13% of sales tax revenue, has plummeted, our major revenue source has taken a hit.

Moody’s estimates that Florida’s total budget shortfall could exceed $8 billion. That’s roughly 8.6% of the budget approved by the state Legislature for the upcoming fiscal year. And all of us, including central Florida residents, will feel the effects of the economic downturn.

To help mitigate Florida’s budget woes and ensure that crucial public services are protected, we recommend halting the massive toll-roads project that lawmakers fast-tracked in 2019.


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