State agencies outline spending hopes with tight budget looming – Florida Politics (blog)
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is having trouble retaining actuaries, aides to Gov. Rick Scott learned Thursday, as a raft of state agencies presented their budget requests for the next fiscal year.
The office is asking for $31.6 million for FY 16-17, including $488,651 to boost its actuarial firepower, agency budget director Richard Fox said. This would pay for a new analyst in its property and casualty insurance actuary unit, and reclassify eight staff actuaries as senior analysts in that and the life and health unit.
Additional promotions would bring the total to around $1.2 million, but the office would save in the long run by reducing a high turnover, Fox said.
“We’re trying to get these people promoted to senior actuary so they can remain with the department and create a career path,” he said, and “hopefully reduce the costs of training for these positions.”
Saving money would be a good thing. The requests come at a time when the state’s general revenue fund is expected to run on razor-thin margins next year and into the red in subsequent years.
The public hearing “gives the public an opportunity if they want to come and ask questions,” said Laurie Grasel, a senior budget aide to the governor. The agencies will make similar presentations to Florida House and Senate leaders.
The Florida Fiscal Portal contains links to the agency budget requests.
The Department of Financial Services wants $42.5 million to continue work on its financial and cash management systems upgrade. The agency seeks $325.8 million overall, a 21 percent increase over existing spending.
One key item for the Division of Hotels and Restaurants, part of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, was $141,000 to boost training for alcohol and tobacco enforcement agents. The department’s request totaled $152.9 million.
The Florida Lottery wants $761,000 to