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Government Relations

Session Update

2024 Legislative Session Week 9 – March 4-8, 2024  

The 2024 Legislative Session officially ended this afternoon with Sine Die.  The House and Senate reached a budget agreement and released the final Appropriations Conference Report on Tuesday at 11:48 AM starting the 72-hour clock for the cooling off period to finish on time.  The Legislature passed a $117.46 billion budget which the Governor has until June 30 to sign. 
The Legislature passed 325 bills this session. 

Budget Breakdown 
Performance Based Funding      $350,000,000  
Perf. Based Funding                   $100,000,000 (nonrecurring)  
(Recruitment & Retention)  
Nursing LINE Funding                $6,000,000 

Operational Support Increase           $19,000,000 ($5m recurring, $14m nonrecurring) 
Nursing PIPELINE Funding                     $3,587,052 
Student Support & Academic Building     $40,242,365 

State University Unexpended Funds 
HB 707 Silvers/SB 1128 Martin 
Authorizes state universities in Florida to retain and report annual reserve balances exceeding a specified minimum amount and allows these funds to be used for authorized expenses in future years.  
Permits universities to maintain a reserve balance above the required 7 percent of their state operating budget. 
Obliges universities falling below the 7 percent balance to submit a remediation plan to the Board of Governors. 
Enables universities' carry forward spending plans to include reserve funds for future authorized expenses. 
Specifies the types of expenditures that may be covered by the carry forward spending plans, including capital outlay projects, maintenance or repair projects, infrastructure improvements, and contingency reserves for emergencies.  
HB 707 passed the House and Senate and is waiting for the Governor’s action. 

Graduate Program Admissions 
HB 511 Holcomb/SB 494 Avila 
Mandates institutions of higher education to waive GRE or GMAT examination requirements for servicemembers and veterans applying to graduate programs. 
Defines relevant terms including "GMAT," "Graduate program," "GRE," "Institution of higher education," and "Servicemember." 
Requires state universities to waive the GRE or GMAT for servicemembers applying to graduate programs that necessitate such examinations. 
Stipulates that the waiver also applies to individuals who served in the United States Armed Forces, the Florida National Guard, or the United States Reserve Forces, provided they were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. 
SB 494 passed the Senate and House and is waiting for the Governor’s action. 

Resident Status for Tuition Purposes 
HB 767 Edmonds/SB 62 
Prohibits individual from losing his or her resident status for tuition purposes solely because of his or her incarceration.  
SB 62 passed the Senate and House and is waiting for the Governor’s action. 

Specialty License Plates 
HB 403 Cheney/SB 434 Harrell 
Updates and introduces regulations on specialty license plates in Florida, including amendments and new designs. 
Exempts collegiate license plates from discontinuation due to low sales and presale voucher requirements, also allowing reauthorization of previously discontinued plates. 
Updates the distribution and use of fees from the Live the Dream license plate for historic African-American cemeteries' preservation. 
Changes the slogan on the American Eagle license plate to "Protect the Eagle." 
Modifies the eligibility for the Divine Nine license plate to include immediate relatives of organization members. 
Renames the Give Kids The World license plate to Universal Orlando Resort, adjusting the inscription accordingly. 
Directs the development of several new specialty license plates such as Margaritaville, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, General Aviation, and others, with specific allocation and usage of the collected fees detailed for each. 
HB 403 passed the House and Senate and is waiting for the Governor’s action.