State revenue forecast sees uptick

Florida legislators are getting a little more money than previously thought as they piece together a budget for next fiscal year.

But with an expected slowdown still on the horizon, as housing and construction numbers are expected to further weaken, a revenue projection that state economists updated Wednesday remained below some earlier forecasts.

“We’ve closed the gap today, but not enough to wipe it out,” said Amy Baker, head of the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, “Overall, we’ll still come in less than we were last year, but we’re $306 million better than where we were this morning.”

An August forecast trimmed earlier estimates of revenue by $451.6 million for the current fiscal year and by $416.1 million for the upcoming 2020-2021 fiscal year. Along with adding $306 million to this year’s estimate, economists Wednesday bumped up the 2020-2021 estimate by $86 million.

After the 60-day Legislative Session kicked off Tuesday, the revised numbers will help lawmakers complete their primary responsibility in crafting a budget for next fiscal year. The economists meet periodically throughout the year to update estimates of general revenue, which plays a key role in funding schools, health care and prisons.

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