Update on State Budget

The Governor has yet to be presented with the state budget or your HB 163 priority legislation (like the overwhelming majority of bills) by the legislature. The reason for the delay is due in large part to COVID-19 – the Governor has obviously been covered up with the states response to the virus and the legislature is giving him time before presenting him with the bills. Once the Governor is presented with the budget or substantive legislation, he has 15-days for his veto deliberation period. The Governor has line item veto authority for the budget bill and he can veto, sign into law, or take no action on your HB 163, and the bill will become law upon its effective date. As soon as the Governor is presented with either bill, we will notify coalition members right away.

Regarding the budget impact to the state from COVID: the impact is still unknown. There is expected to be a significant impact to Florida due in large part to the sales tax revenue lost for a state that is very depend on tourism. At this time, the Legislature does not anticipate convening to undo the budget recently passed (not yet signed by the Governor) due to the “rainy day funds” (reserves) where the state has approximately $4 billion and the funds from the Federal Cares Act ($8.2 billion). Things can change, however, and we will be watchful as the General Revenue Collection Reports come in.

On April 25, the General Revenue Collection Report for March will be released. Sales Tax collections for the March report (April 25) only reflect activity that occurred in February, only one week of which was affected by Coronavirus. It won’t be until May 25, when the General Revenue Collection Report for April with Sales Tax Activity from March is released until we start seeing the full impact for an entire month, all of which was affected at an increasing extent as the month progressed.

Below I am providing everyone with the links to the Senate President’s Fiscal Update memos from April 2nd and 16th. I’m also copying and pasting my emails from 4/17 and 4/21 re: CARES Act Funding and budget amendments.

 

Senate President Fiscal Update Emails:

Senate President April 16th Fiscal Update: https://www.flsenate.gov/PublishedContent/Offices/2018-2020/President/Documents/4_16_20_MEMO_Fiscal_Updates_Related_to_COVID_19.pdf

Senate President April 2nd Fiscal Update: https://www.flsenate.gov/PublishedContent/Offices/2018-2020/President/Documents/4_2_20_MEMO_Fiscal_Update.pdf

 

Budget Update Emails:

From: Bryan Cherry <Bryan@PinPointResults.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 12:10 PM
Subject: Budget Update

All – To update our email from last Thursday, the State of Florida has now received $4.1 billion (of the $8.2 billion available to the state) from the Federal CARES Act late Friday afternoon 4/16. The State is finalizing how the first 50% of funds from the CARES Act is distributed. As soon as we have more updates, we will be sure to pass the information along to everyone, but very good news the State has now received at least some of the CARES Act funding.


FCEH Members,

We want to update everyone on a few items relating to the Federal CARES Act funding that will be available for your programs and budget amendments for current FY ESG/Challenge contracts:

Federal CARES Act:

Where is the Funding?

As of today (4/16) the State of Florida has yet to receive much of their funding from the Federal CARES Act. There have been delays in distributing the funding to the states because federal agencies had to first determine what the guidelines are for appropriations (state population, impact from COVID-19 i.e. sales tax revenues lost etc.). We suspect the states will begin to receive their respective allocations as soon as next week. According to Florida Senate President’s 4/2 Memo to Senators, Florida anticipates receiving $12 billion in federal grants from the CARES Act.

What is the State of Florida’s Approval Process for Distribution?

In an effort to expedite the distribution of funds to providers, the Federal CARES Act gives Governor’s the authority to follow own state processes for distribution of funds. Further, due to Governor DeSantis’ Emergency Declaration for the State in response to COVID-19, we believe he has broad budget authority to approve funding from the CARES Act. This means, rather than requiring that the legislature convene in Tallahassee to appropriate the funding from the CARES Act, state agencies may submit budget amendments to the Governor requesting for additional budget authority for the Federal grants. However, the Governor may convene the legislature if he feels he does not have the authority to do so, or the legislature may decide to convene to appropriate the funds. In the Senate President’s Memo on 4/2, the President mentioned the legislature convening to appropriate the funds as a possibility. We should know very shortly what Florida’s process will be, however; the Governor has already been approving non-CARES Act Federal funding through his Emergency Declaration, and we would not be surprised to see the same process used for the CARES Act funding.

What is the Budget Allocation Method used by DCF for the Distribution of Funds and when will Programs know Their Allocation?

The State Office on Homelessness has summarized your suggestions to provide three options to leadership for the allocation method of the CARES Act funding. Your recommendations are currently under review by DCF leadership. Once an allocation method has been approved by DCF, each of your programs will be notified with exact amounts by DCF. The three methods FCEH submitted to DCF for consideration are as follows:

  1. Using the original allocation method for the 2019-2020 ESG Grant
  2. Using the original allocation method for the 2019-2020 ESG Grant and adding the two communities that did not originally get funded.
  3. Using the original allocation method for half of the funding and using a calculation to take into account other measures (ie: poverty and unemployment and spending rates) for the remaining funds.

When should Providers Expect to Receive Funds?

Once the Governor approves the budget amendments, or the legislature appropriates the funding, the funding will be made available to your programs. Unfortunately, we can not say exactly when that date will be. As described above, the state first must receive the funding, and then agencies must submit the budget amendments requesting additional budget authority to the Governor and then the Governor has to review and approve, or the legislature must convene and appropriate the funds. We do know, Federal and State agencies are moving as quickly as they can to position themselves to distribute the funding as soon as possible.

Current FY Challenge / ESG Budget Amendments:

 FCEH members expressed interest in utilizing unspent current FY ESG and Challenge funding in their contracts in response to COVID-19. FCEH and your PPR Consultants worked with DCF and were successful in obtaining approval from the Governor to submit budget revisions to shift funds from unused activities (i.e. Rapid Re-housing) to other activities (i.e. Emergency Shelter). Please submit your budget revision requests to your contract manager for review and approval if you have not done so already. On Friday 4/10, DCF sent the following email to CoCs:

“We have received approval to submit budget revisions to shift funds from unused activities (i.e. Rapid Re-housing) to other activities (i.e. Emergency Shelter).  Financial penalties for unmet deliverables as a result of shifts that are necessary for current program functions will be waived.  As a reminder we are unable to shift funds between grants, if there are no funds in a grant (i.e. ESG) we cannot complete a budget revision to shift from another grant (i.e. Challenge).  Please submit budget revision requests to your contract manager for review and approval.” 

On behalf of our PinPoint Results Team, THANK YOU all for everything you’re doing to help fight the spread of COVID-19 among our states most vulnerable population. We understand your programs are extremely busy, and it is critical to provide you all with certainties during these unprecedented and uncertain times. Please know, our PinPoint Results Team, as well as FCEH Leadership is here to assist Coalition Members. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or the FCEH leadership should you have any questions, at any time.

What you do and the leadership that your Programs exhibit each and every day is the critical role in Florida’s homelessness system and I am proud and privileged to work on your behalf and represent FCEH.

 

Cheers,

 

Bryan R. Cherry

PinPoint Results, LLC

150 S. Monroe St., Suite 303

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 544-5673

 

 

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