The Legislature returned to Tallahassee today to complete their work for the 2022 Regular Session. Legislators needed additional time to agree to the state budget, so they extended the Session until today for the purpose of voting on the budget, implementing bill, conforming bills, and tax package. The budget legislators agreed to was $112 billion, the highest budget in state history. For a detailed summary of the budget, please see the Senate Appropriations Committee Conference Report Summary. The House and Senate officially closed out the Session sine die at 1:03 p.m.
This year’s budget included $3.5 billion of additional federal COVID relief funding. Funds will also be used for construction and maintenance needs for Florida colleges and universities and $200 million will offset the gas tax cut for the month of October. Another large part of the federal help, $400 million, will go into broadband expansion, about $80 million will go toward a new state emergency operations center, and $115 million toward improvements at the Capitol.
This year’s $658 million tax package (HB 7071), includes a series of sales-tax “holidays,” such as a 14-day “back-to-school” tax holiday in July and August 2022 for certain clothing, school supplies, learning aids and puzzles, and personal computers; a 14-day “disaster preparedness” holiday in May and June of 2022 for specified disaster preparedness supplies for families and their pets; a seven-day “Freedom Week” tax holiday in July for specified recreational items and activities; and a seven-day “Tool Time” tax holiday in September for tools and equipment needed in skilled trades. For additional information on the tax package, please see the House Conference Report Letter.