Governor Crist Launches Government Scorecard Web Site

Nov 20, 2007

Governor Charlie Crist held a press conference this morning to announce a new Web site designed to enable Floridians to track the State’s progress on key economic and quality of life indicators. 

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TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today unveiled the Florida Performs Web site to provide the people of Florida a new way to measure how well state government is doing.  The Web site provides scorecards of state government’s performance in a variety of measures that affect the quality of life of Florida’s residents and visitors.  Citizens can also access each state agency’s performance measures. 
“Each year, the Florida Legislature fulfills their constitutional duty to pass a budget that designates billions of dollars of the people’s money to state government, and I have the responsibility of signing that budget and managing the state agencies responsible for being good stewards of the people’s money,” Governor Crist said.  “The money government spends should make a difference, and this a new Web site will help our bosses – the people of Florida –measure how well we are doing.”
Florida Performs tracks trends in six broad categories:  public safety, health and family, transportation, education, economy and taxes, and environment and conservation.  Arrows indicate trends with key indicators within each category.  For example, the environmental and conservation key indicators are air quality, energy, water quality and supply, beach preservation and restoration, waste management, Everglades restoration and land conservation.
About Key Indicators
Detailed information about each key indicator includes its importance, Florida’s performance, influencing factors and state government’s role in addressing the issue.  Each indicator is assigned an arrow based upon current results.  Arrow directions indicate improved, maintained or declining performance and are determined by the previous year’s performance, or by a clear trend. 
Within each indicator are measures, or series of measures, that provide more detailed information.  For instance, in the area of access to health care and rehabilitative services, details are available regarding five specific subjects:  uninsured individuals, Medicaid enrollees, Medicaid births, emergency room visits for low or moderate health problems, and those who are receiving or waiting to receive assistance with developmental disabilities.  Each measure also includes a definition of what is being measured, the measure’s reliability and graphs with data tables which provide current data along with results from prior years. 
Highlights of Florida Performs
Public Safety
• Crime – Florida’s overall crime rate is at a 36-year low, declining at a better rate than the nation’s crime rate.  However, violent crime has taken a slight turn upward.
• Probation Violations –As of June 30, 2007, violations for those who had committed violent crimes dropped by 9 percent in one year, from 42,258 to 38,599.
Health and Family
• Foster Care – The number of children in state foster care is steadily decreasing. Since 2001, the number of children in foster care has dropped from 32,666 to 27,543 on June 30, 2007.
• Access to Health Care – Almost 3.8 million Floridians, including 647,000 kids, do not have health insurance, as of June 30, 2007.
• Access to Rehabilitative Services for Persons with Disabilities – There are currently about 31,000 Floridians receiving services with 15,000 waiting for services, a 20 percent increase over the previous year.
• Adoptions – The number of adoptions slightly increased as did the number of children awaiting adoption.
• Driver Licenses – Customers are waiting less to receive driver licenses. Eighty percent are now being served within 15 minutes, up from 50 percent two years ago.
• State Road Construction – Almost all – 87 percent – of road projects are being completed on time.
• Student Performance – Student performance in Florida has been increasing during the past five years by 10 percent in both reading and mathematics – from 47 to 57 percent in reading and 51 to 61 percent in mathematics.
• High School Graduation – Florida’s graduation rate is holding steady at 71 percent, and is up 3 percent over the past five years.
• High School Dropout Rate – For the past five years, Florida’s graduation rate has been holding steady at or near three percent.
Economy and Taxes
• Jobs – Florida’s unemployment rate is the lowest among the nation’s ten most populous states, while Florida’s job growth is ranked third in the nation with 200,000 jobs created in 2006.
• Unemployment – Last year, Florida’s unemployment rate dropped from 3.8 percent to 3.3 percent and is nearly half of what it was five years ago (5.7 percent).
• Visitors – Florida had 84 million visitors in 2006, more than 10 percent higher than three years ago.  Tourism-related expenditures totaled $65 billion.
• Housing Market – Both new and existing home sales dropped about 25 percent in 2006.
• Taxes – There were $17.6 million in tax cuts put in place in fiscal year 2007. 
• Air Quality – Floridians are breathing good or healthy air more than 99 percent of the time.
• Land Conservation – Florida’s land acquisition program is the largest and most aggressive in the country, with more than 100,000 acres purchased during the previous fiscal year.
• Everglades Restoration – An essential component of the restoration effort is land acquisition, and more than half of land needed for Everglades restoration projects has been purchased (214,000 acres), including more that 4,000 acres during the previous fiscal year. 
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