Vietnam helicopters, trade war marketing, hemp: FDACS submits budget requests for fiscal year

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) on Thursday submitted its budget request for fiscal year 2021-2022, which included dollars to replace Vietnam-era helicopters, money to market amid a trade war and funding for hemp inspections.

In all, FDACS’s Legislative Budget Request amounts to roughly $140 million. The total consists of $70 million in General Revenue funds, $70 million in State Trust Funds and $10 million in Federal Grants funding.

Notably, the budget request is 46% less than last year’s request. It comes as the state faces a projected $5.5 billion revenue shortfall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our budget priorities of supporting Florida farmers, protecting consumers, improving water quality and energy efficiency, strengthening the hemp program, and more, are solutions-oriented and crucial not only to our Department’s success, but to our state’s,” Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a statement. “Our proposal reflects our continued commitment to a common-sense, fiscally responsible budget that meets the needs of our state’s agriculture community, consumers, and families.”

Fried continued: “We all must strive to serve as good stewards of taxpayer resources – our 4,300 employees do this daily as we continue to implement our vision to keep Florida growing.”

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