Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee and House Democrats unveiled the New Sunshine Deal — the first budget proposal from Democrats in over two decades. The New Sunshine Deal is a progressive and fiscally responsible budget that addresses the challenges facing Florida families.
The House Democrats budget cuts taxes for working families, expands Medicaid, raises teacher pay, and addresses our environmental crisis. All investments in public education, the environment and healthcare are offset by closing tax loopholes and generating new revenues.
A $524 Million Tax Cut for Working Families
- Our state’s tax burden falls most heavily on our families at the lowest income levels. Because of its reliance on regressive taxes and fees, Florida’s poorest families pay the highest proportion of their incomes supporting state and local governments.
- The “Working Families Tax Rebate Program” will provide working families who are struggling to make ends meet a tax rebate worth $524 million. This tax credit should be a no-brainer — it provides relief for the families who pay the highest taxes based on their income and is designed to encourage and reward work.
Investing in Florida’s Teachers and Raising Teacher Pay: $747 Million
- The New Sunshine Deal Budget will invest $747 million to provide an across the board salary increase for Florida school personnel.This increase would be a “down payment” toward increasing salaries by 13 percent — which would ensure that Florida teachers are finally paid at the national average.
Saving Taxpayers’ Money $100 Million by Expanding Health Care to 700,000 Floridians
- The New Sunshine Deal Budget would expand Medicaid — and provide more than 700,000 Floridians with access to affordable healthcare. Medicaid Expansion would also deliver billions of federal dollars into the state’s economy, stimulating growth and creating jobs. It is expected that expansion will deliver general revenue savings of $100 million — even when accounting for the modest 10 percent state contribution to coverage for Floridians newly eligible for health care.
Cleaning Our Water and Protecting Our Coastal Economies
- Florida’s environment is in crisis. Rising sea levels are already damaging coastal communities and toxic blue green algae is endangering Floridians’ health and crippling local economies.
- To protect Florida’s natural environment, the New Sunshine Deal Budget goes further than Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposed budget by:
- Providing $20 Million More than the DeSantis Budget to Address the Toxic Algae Crisis: The New Sunshine Deal Budget includes $20 million beyond the current funding proposed by Ron DeSantis to address the blue green algae crisis that has devastated Florida’s tourism industry and lowered quality of life in communities across the state.
- Providing An Additional $200 Million More for Conservation: The New Sunshine Deal proposes funding Florida’s premier conservation and recreation lands acquisition program at $200 million this fiscal year and in future years.
- Providing an Additional $20 Million More for Resiliency: Many coastal areas in the state are already threatened by rising seas. This budget provides $20 million in funding in support of climate resiliency projects for the new Office of Resilient Coastline Program in Florida communities threatened by climate change.