Forecast Suggests FL's Next Governor Could Inherit Budget Surplus

posted by Jessi Minneci - 

Florida's next governor may inherit a budget surplus during his first year in office, according to an annual forecast by state economists.

The new forecast released Friday suggests that the state is expected to bring in enough money in 2019 to meet its needs for public schools and health care programs while leaving $1 billion available for reserves and a round of tax cuts.

The three-year forecast, which will officially be presented to legislators this coming week, predicts a relatively small surplus of about $223 million. 

The state's overall budget, which includes billions in federal grants, is slightly under $90 billion.

Florida's constitution requires that state economists draw up a three-year financial outlook each fall that looks at spending projections in key programs such as Medicaid and available tax revenues. 

Lawmakers will meet next March for their annual session, with one of their main jobs to be the crafting of a new budget.

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