A look at the results of the 2015 Special Session
In a recent newsletter, Career Source Florida offered this review of the Florida legislature’s 2015 Special Session.
2015 Special Session Sine Die
Late Friday, June 19, the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives Sergeants at Arms dropped the traditional handkerchiefs in the ceremonial end to the 2015 special legislative session after Florida’s nearly $78.8 billion budget was approved by both chambers.The special legislative session convened on June 1 to address the state’s budget, as the legislature did not reach an agreement during the regular 60-day session. Included in the budget are more than $400 million in tax reductions, an increase in funding for public schools, and funding for Florida’s workforce and economic development programs.
Florida Senate Sergeant at Arms Donald Severance and Florida House of Representatives Sergeant at Arms Russell Hosford dropping the handkerchiefs signifying the end of 2015 special session.
2015-16 Workforce Funding
Workforce ProgramsThe 2015-16 state budget includes funding for the following workforce programs:
- Quick Response Training program: $12,000,000
- Quick Response Training program marketing and promotion: $100,000
- CareerSource Florida network funding: $269,204,318
- Skills Assessment and Training: $4,000,000
- Additional funding for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training Program: $2,100,000
- These funds are required to be placed in reserve and may be released after January 1, 2016, if Florida is required to administer a mandatory SNAP Employment and Training Program for Able Bodied Adults without Dependents.
- Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program: $200,000
- The Department of Economic Opportunity is provided these funds to develop and implement the Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program to recognize businesses that demonstrate a commitment to the independence of individuals who have a disability. The Department is required to consult with CareerSource Florida, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Blind Services to implement the program.
Workforce & Economic Development ProjectsThe 2015-16 state budget also includes funding for the following workforce and economic development projects*:
- Manufacturing Academy and Apprenticeship/Internship Program: $1,250,000
- CareerSource Pinellas Advanced Manufacturing Skills Development: $250,000
- Florida Goodwill Association: $600,000
- Big Brothers Big Sisters School to Work Program: $250,000
- Glades County Gateway Logistics and Manufacturing Training Center: $1,000,000
- Manufacturing Association of Florida Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence, Inc. – FloridaMakes: $400,000
- International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research: $10,000,000
- Tampa Innovation Alliance: $2,000,000
Also retained in the state budget are spending restrictions imposed in recent years. The state spending plan:
- Prohibits the use of state and federal funds for meals, food, beverages, entertainment costs and recreational activities;
- Requires contract review in certain circumstances for regional workforce boards, prohibiting them from entering into contracts exceeding $25,000 with their members or members’ relatives unless the contract has been reviewed by the Department of Economic Opportunity and CareerSource Florida; and,
- Requires Department of Economic Opportunity approval of regional workforce board outreach, advertising or public relations expenditures of more than $5,000.