He said that more than 35 percent of Florida’s $74 billion state budget is comprised of federal funds and the decision not to shift state funds into federal programs was intended to preserve “legislative intent.”
Senate President Don Gaetz supports the governor’s decision to take a hard-line against offsetting the impact of the shutdown, said his spokeswoman Katie Betta.
“The president does not believe state funds should be used to backfill federal programs,’’ she said.
House Speaker Will Weatherford agreed that the state “shouldn't be penalized for Washington's inability to perform its basic duty of passing an annual budget,’’ he said. “I hope both sides can come to an agreement soon."
Meanwhile, an analysis of the impact of an unresolved federal government shutdown on state programs, prepared by the Legislature’s budget staff, concluded the following:
• Small to medium-sized school districts using bi-weekly pay periods may start to have problems meeting payroll
• Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services programs will not meet payroll
• Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the supplemental food program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) will run out of funds by the end of the month
• School lunch, school breakfast and child and adult care food programs could also run out of money in the next week.
While many in state government believe the state can withstand the impact of the federal government shutdown, the biggest hit could come if Congress refuses to extend the debt ceiling and can’t pay its debts.
Florida benefits the most from federal grant and entitlement programs, according to an analysis by the Pew Center for the States, with residents depending heavily on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment checks.
If Congress and Obama cannot reach a resolution on extending the debt ceiling, “a return to a recession would be a real possibility,” wrote Rick Harper, a senior policy adviser on economic affairs for Gaetz in the analysis for the Senate.
Tampa Bay Times staff writer Tia Mitchell contributed to this report.