Miami-Dade big budget winner again

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An annual ritual once again produced a sign of Miami-Dade County’s clout and size: The county took in by far the most money from the state budget, according to a county-by-county breakdown of local projects released Friday by the Legislature, reports Brandon Larrabee of the News Service of Florida.

In fact, Miami-Dade’s haul of more than $1.7 billion is about 65 percent more than the county with the next-largest share, Broward, which took in a shade over $1.05 billion.

Rounding out the top 10 for state funds were Hillsborough ($695.4 million), Alachua ($688.5 million), Duval ($625.8 million), Orange ($542.1 million), Leon ($507.9 million), Palm Beach ($435 million), Pasco ($252 million) and Lee ($220.7 million).

The figures don’t account for the funding that comes from the state’s classroom spending formula or programs like the Medicaid health system for low-income Floridians. The projects listed for individual counties account for more than $9.5 billion of the $74.5 billion budget currently being weighed by Gov. Rick Scott.

They also don’t account for things like prisons located in the counties, and the numbers don’t include a spate of multi-county projects also broken out by the Legislature in Friday’s report.

Finally, Scott is likely to strike some projects from the budget with his line-item veto, which could change the numbers at least slightly. Scott has until May 24 to decide what to do with the budget.

The county with the least to show in direct spending from the budget, which takes effect July 1, is Union County in rural north Florida. It received just $176,225. Only two other counties had less than $1 million: Liberty, which had $218,917; and Wakulla, which takes home $416,884.

Rounding out the bottom 10 were Lafayette ($1.2 million), Gilchrist ($1.3 million), Dixie ($2.8 million), Hardee ($3 million), Jefferson ($3.5 million), Franklin ($3.8 million) and Gadsden ($5.1 million).

Overall, 17 counties took home more than $100 million each, with two counties (Sumter and Seminole) missing that mark by less than $5 million. And 17 collected less than $10 million.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.