Statement by CFO Sink on Florida’s Deepening Revenue Shortfall and Budget Deficit -
Tara Klimek or Jerri Franz
CFO Sink Calls for Long-Term Thinking and Prioritizing Core Services
TALLAHASSEE—The following is Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink’s response to the recent report from the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research:
The latest report shows a looming $3.5 billion budget shortfall for fiscal year 2009-2010. Although not surprising and slated for next fiscal year, it dramatically underscores the severity of Florida’s growing budget deficit.
“I have a tremendous sense of urgency around this situation and these numbers continue to concern me. As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, it’s clear to me that even the most optimistic scenarios indicate several challenging budget years ahead for our state. I’m counting on House and Senate leadership to recognize that this situation requires an approach that spans the budget horizon of this decade.
“It’s critical that when our new and returning Legislators arrive in Tallahassee in November that they immediately tackle this crisis and focus on long-term, critical thinking that prioritizes the core essential services that protect our citizens.
“Florida families impacted by the slowing economy and rising unemployment are forced to make tough choices everyday with their budget dollars and government must do the same. It is time for a more surgical and precise approach to funding the business of our state.”
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.