By: Nick Hyder and Tian Ma
With 2015 behind us, it’s worthwhile to take stock of last year’s spending by state government. A state’s spending says a lot about its priorities, and accountability to taxpayers is an important component of a democracy. The Agency for Health Care Administration tops the list of spending by state agencies, followed by the departments of Education, Management Services, Revenue, and Transportation.
The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) had the largest budget of any executive agency in Florida in 2015 with expenditures just shy of $24 billion. Of this, $23 billion was spent on Medicaid, a federal and state funded medical assistance program that offers access to health care for low-income families and individuals, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Nearly $10 billion of Florida’s Medicaid spending came from state funds, with the remaining $13.5 billion provided to the state by the federal government. An August 2015 forecast by AHCA projects that spending on Medicaid will increase by about $1.9 billion by fiscal year 2016-2017. But this is likely to increase if the Florida Legislature passes Medicaid expansion efforts currently being considered in the legislature
The Florida Department of Education spent about $20 billion in 2015, ranking the second highest amount by a state agency. About 91% of this spending went to county school boards. Big counties such as Miami-Dade, Broward and Hillsborough received the largest levels of assistance, averaging about $1.25 billion each.
The Department of Management Services (DMS) spent just over $7 billion in 2015, narrowly edging out the Department of Revenue ($6.9 billion) and the Department of Transportation ($6.906 billion) for third place in spending. The DMS is the business arm of Florida’s government serving “to support sister agencies as well as current and former state employees with workforce and business-related functions so that agencies can focus on their core missions as defined in law.”
Responsible for facilitating child support payments as well as collecting a processing state taxes, the Department of Revenue (DOR) ranks fourth in total spending for 2015. In a given year, the DOR collects over $30 billion in taxes and fees while processing over 9 million tax filings. The DOR serves a number of other key roles, including assisting legislatures in analyzing the impact of proposed bills.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) spent about $6.9 billion last year, with Mat Concessionaire LLC and I-595 Express, LLC ranked as two highest spending vendors, accounted for 11% of the department spending. Both located in Miami/ Fort.Lauderdale metropolitan area, Mat Concessionaire is responsible for the design, construction, and financing of the Port Miami Tunnel project, and I-595 Express is responsible for operation and maintenance of the I-595 Expressway. The rest of the spending was dedicated mainly to infrastructure, and was dispersed to various construction companies for work on roads and bridges.
Total state spending increased approximately 7% from $72 billion in 2014 to $77 billion in 2015. Out of 35 state agencies listed, the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Education spent over half of the total budget, while the remaining 33 agencies spent about $33 billion combined. This distribution of spending might seem surprising, but Florida has seen similar spending trends for the previous six years. Agency spending will likely continue to be dominated by health care and education through 2016.
Data and References
All data can be found at the links below: