Department of Corrections faces $45 million deficit in new year

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The Florida Department of Corrections will enter the 2013-14 fiscal year with a budget deficit, after lawmakers did not fully cover a shortfall from the current year, Gov. Rick Scott said in a written budget message Monday (via the News Service of Florida).

Scott said the department will have to use “upwards of $45 million” in 2013-14 funds to cover the 2012-13 deficit. “This unfortunate reality will require strong fiscal management during the next year,” Scott’s message said. Scott took issue with budget fine print, known as proviso language, that seeks to make sure public work squads will be maintained during the fiscal year that starts July 1. He wrote that the “ability of the department to reduce expenditures and responsibly manage its budget is severely limited by this proviso language.”

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.