Leon County’s four-member delegation to the Florida Legislature may bring home more than $3.5 million in local project spending in the proposed state budget lawmakers will vote on Friday.
In addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars that will go to the operations of Florida A&M and Florida State universities and Tallahassee Community College, there’s money for a local mental health initiative and programs for at-risk youths in the next fiscal year’s $100 billion spending plan.
Lawmakers also set aside $100,000 in planning and site acquisition for a new State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee’s Capital Circle Office Complex.
And the county’s pretrial intervention program for military veterans is in line for $1.4 million, once the Legislature passes the budget later this week.
Of course, any of these appropriations could get drowned in the red ink of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ budget line-item veto pen.
Lawmakers will vote on budget Friday
The House and Senate are expected to vote on the budget Friday afternoon. Copies were delivered to lawmakers shortly after noon Tuesday, starting the clock on a 72-hour “cooling off” period mandated by the state constitution before a vote can be taken.
The state’s budget takes effect each year on July 1 and ends the following June 30.
For now, here’s a look at selected projects that area lawmakers — Sen. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee and Reps. Jason Shoaf, R-Port St. Joe; Allison Tant, D-Tallahassee; and Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee — got funded:
- $700,000 for Graduate Medical Education in internal medicine at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.
- $500,000 for a nursing program expansion at Tallahassee Community College.
- $475,000 for the Tallahassee Chapter of The Links pilot program in youth leadership development.
- $350,000 for the Apalachee Center/Leon County Sheriff’s Office Mobile Response Program to provide mental health professionals instead of law enforcement to respond to people in crisis.
- $250,000 for Tallahassee TEMPO & TFLA Workforce Training, which connects at-risk youth to education, skills building, and jobs initiatives.
- $150,000 for a backup generator for the Leon County Special Needs Shelter that serves as a comfort station and provides a distribution point for water and supplies during emergencies, such as hurricanes.
- $50,000 for Leon Works Expo and Junior Apprenticeship Program, providing students with entry-level work experiences in an effort to raise awareness of different careers in the private sector.