Juvenile Justice Legislative Committee Report: Week of Feb. 18-22

Feb 27, 2008

Both the Florida House and the Senate held Committee meetings during the week of February 18-22. This was the last Committee Week prior to the 2008 Regular Legislative Session, which begins on Tuesday, March 4.

Florida’s budget shortfall was the main topic of discussion this past week, and is likely to be the major theme during the 2008 Session.  Because of continued declining state revenues, the Legislature now is being forced to cut roughly $520 million from the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year (FY) 2007-’08.  This is in addition to the $1.5 Billion cut made during the 2007 Special Session C.

Estimates for Fiscal Year 2008-’09 revenue shortfalls have not yet been returned, but are expected to be in the range of $3-4 billion. This amount represents uncharted territory for the Legislature, which has experienced two consecutive sessions beset with budget shortfalls and massive funding reductions.


Tuesday, February 19

Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Committee

The Committee, chaired by Senator Victor Crist (R-Tampa) met to hear from various agencies and groups governed by its funding jurisdiction.  The Committee also rolled out its recommendations for the 4th quarter reductions for FY 2007-’08. A copy of these recommendations can be viewed here.


Wednesday, February 20

Senate Criminal Justice Committee

The Committee, chaired by Senator Paula Dockery (R-Lakeland) heard testimony on re-entry employment issues and other criminal justice matters from women formerly participating in the Girls Advocacy Project. The Committee is expected to pursue a proposed committee bill to help address some of the problems experienced with gaining employment when one’s juvenile criminal record is expunged or sealed.


House Safety and Security Council

The Council, chaired by Representative Dick Kravitz (R-Orange Park) held a brief meeting during which the Chair asked Committee members to advise him within the next week regarding their concerns and priorities on the 4th quarter FY 2007-’08 budget reductions.  The House plans to take up the budget reductions during the first week of the Legislative Session. The Council packet can be viewed by clicking here. 


Monday, February 25

House and Senate Release Proposed 4th Quarter FY 07-08 Budget Reductions

The House released one budget document that it plans to take up before the House Policy and Budget Council on Monday, March 3.

The Senate plans to pass out individual bills from its respective appropriations committees during the first week of Session. The House budget bill can be viewed here and the Senate Criminal Justice Appropriations bill can be viewed here. 

Should you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Frank Mayernick at fmayernick@cftlaw.com.


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