Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 13

local projects which he called "pork" and,
instead, focus on hurricane issues. Senate
president Joe Negron has said that the
Senate will follow their normal process
to thoroughly discuss hurricane related
issues. As the Daytona Beach News-Journal's
Editorial Board put it, "...[House Speaker
Richard] Corcoran frames the debate as
a stark choice: disaster-defense heroics on
one side, politics-fueled free spending on
the other." Thus, anything not considered
disaster defense is likely to be maligned and
find itself at odds with House leadership.
In recent years, the Legislature has
unfortunately chosen not to take advantage of opportunities to augment the budget through available local sources. For
example, the Required Local Effort (RLE),
rolled back for two years already, will almost
certainly be rolled back for the third year.
Speaker Corcoran has been very clear on
his position that any increase in the RLE
is a tax increase, which neither he nor the
House will support. Long gone are the days
when an increase in the RLE equated to an
increase in per-student funding in the state
budget. This failure to recognize growth
in the RLE has created undue hardship for
districts, and when compounded with the
effects being felt by passage
of last year's house bill
7069, school districts will

need to brace themselves for even more
financial constraints.
The legislature does have reserve funds
available for times like this, when unexpected costs are incurred due to a natural
disaster. Florida's Constitution requires
money to be set aside in a budget stabilization fund. More than $3.5 billion currently resides in that fund. For good reason,
there are tight restrictions on the use of this
money as well as a very strict formula for
repayment. However, these dollars could fill
Florida's budgetary gap that if left unfilled
will impose harsh funding reductions. We
do not expect the legislature to tap into
these funds.
Another important factor to consider
in predicting the outcome of state budget
negotiations during the coming legislative
session is that it is an election year. Under
normal circumstances, Florida's K-12 public
school leaders would be optimistic heading
into a legislative session during an election
year when the K-12 budget typically has
been slightly more generous than during
non-election years when more cutbacks are
normally imposed. I have maintained that as
school business officers, legislative funding
levels ought to be viewed in two-year cycles
rather than singular year cycles due to the
rollercoaster of funding tied to elections.
When facing constituents on the campaign
trail, the ability to point to a recent more
generous budget affecting constituents'
needs proves helpful during campaigning. For the second election
year in a row, the legislature
moved up its start of the session to January. This will
prompt legislators to seek to
solve legislative issues early
so that they can adjourn,
return to their districts,
begin to raise money, and
work the election circuit.
Adding spice to the
potential effect of
election year politics, Florida's current
elected legislative
leadership includes
a declared and not-yet declared
candidate for Governor. Sen. Jack
Latvala has already declared his
intent to run for Governor and has
begun campaigning. Corcoran,
though not officially declared as

a candidate, shows all signs that he will
join in the race for Governor. The result
of these legislative leaders whose eyes are
on the Governor's mansion is that there
will be posturing on state priorities and
fiscal responsibility, both of which will
serve as messages to their political base
in an effort to win what promises to be a
heated Republican gubernatorial primary.
Latvala, as Senate Appropriations Chair,
retains oversight and authority of all items
in Florida's budget prepared by the Senate.
Rep. Corcoran, as Speaker of the House,
retains oversight and authority of all items
put forth by the House. Expect the priorities
of these two chambers to clash.
Unresolved issues from the 2017 legislative session which we expect to see
resurface: medical marijuana, casinos in
gambling, worker's compensation, and a
troubling tendency to usurp the authority
of local governments - including cities,
counties, and school boards. These topics
captured time and attention last year and
will assuredly generate more energy and
effort this year.
Can we expect any changes to house
bill 7069? As of the beginning of October,
fifteen (15) school districts had voted to
enter into litigation over unconstitutional
mandates found within the bill. Seven (7)
districts have voted not to enter into litigation. Many other districts remain in
discussions. The message to legislators is
clear: elements of this package, introduced
on the last day of the 2017 regular session
and passing in the Senate by only one vote,
reach too far into the authority of local
school districts. The controversy surrounding this bill was made clear early, yet it
was still signed by the governor. This bill
was a priority of House Speaker Corcoran,
who has no motivation to reconsider any
contentious elements contained within
the statutory behemoth. Therefore, it is
unlikely that any changes will pass both
houses of legislature in 2018 so we expect
7069 to stand as it currently is.
Worries by school district finance officers do not end with legislative impacts.
Proposals for consideration by Florida's
Constitution Revision Commission (CRC)
may, if placed on the ballot and passed by the
voters, potentially impact school districts as
well. The requirement that any amendment
must pass the citizenry by 60 percent of
Continued on page 16

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017

President’s Message
All Hands on Deck for Purchasing Card Fraud Prevention
Legislative Report
2017 Annual Conference Recap
In Memoriam: Rita Zazzaro
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - Intro
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - bellyband1
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - bellyband2
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover1
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover2
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 3
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 4
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 5
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 6
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - President’s Message
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - All Hands on Deck for Purchasing Card Fraud Prevention
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 9
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 10
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 11
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - Legislative Report
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 13
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 2017 Annual Conference Recap
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 15
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - In Memoriam: Rita Zazzaro
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - 17
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover3
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover4
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - outsert1
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - outsert2
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - outsert3
Florida School Business - Fall/Winter 2017 - outsert4
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