Florida officials track effects of new laws on state revenues

(The Center Square) — Florida officials have examined several bills signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis to determine how they’ll affect the state’s revenues.

Officials analyzed several bills during a revenue estimating conference that are tied to House Bill 5001, the state’s fiscal 2024-2025 budget, and HB 5003, which is the measure that implements it.

HB 1301 will authorize the Florida Department of Transportation to retain interest earnings on funds appropriated to implement the Moving Florida Forward Plan. The funds will be held in reserve, any interest earned on transferred funds must be used by the department to implement the plan. Analysts found that the change will have no impact on the General Revenue or State Trust funds.

HB 1285 will amend Florida statutes to allow Miami Dade College, Polk State College and Tallahassee Community College to charge an amount of $290 per credit hour for nonresident tuition and fees for distance learning. The institutions will be able to phase in this fee by degree program.

Analysts stated that if the three colleges immediately implemented the maximum fee, the total fiscal impact for FY 2024-25 would have been a loss of over $4.6 million. However, institutions plan on phasing in the program. If 5% of non-Florida residents participate, the total impact will be reduced by $234,897.18.

HB 7073 has a proposed change that specifies if a discretionary sales tax has been collected but not expended by a county, municipality, school board or other entity that those proceeds must be transferred to the Florida Department of Revenue within 60 days from the date of final adjudication. These funds must then be held in the Discretionary Sales Surtax Clearing House Trust Fund in reserve for appropriation.

Senate Bill 994 will change how school traffic zone violations are collected and disbursed. If a violation is enforced by a school bus infraction detection system, the $25 fine would go to the participating school district, rather than into the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund of the Florida Department of Health. Analysts stated that the change will have an indeterminate impact on the state budget.

HB 1425 would eliminate the minimum-risk nonresidential commitment level for youth. Previously, the court would order a parent to pay a cost of care fee of $1 per day. The Department of Juvenile Justice stated that courts will likely order probation instead, also at $1 per day. Analysts anticipate no impact on the budget.