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CFO Sink Recommends Smart Steps to Get Florida’s Fair Share of Federal Funds

3/4/2009

CONTACT:  Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate
(850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE — Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today released an initial report detailing ways Florida’s taxpayers can see more of their money come back from Washington, D.C.
 
The CFO’s initial report, which found that Florida ranks 45th in the nation in per capita federal grants funding, lays out ten initial recommendations to correct some of the inefficiencies that current hinder Florida from getting our fair share of federal funds.
 
“Right now Florida’s taxpayers are not getting our fair share of federal funding, and instead it’s going to New York or California,” said CFO Sink.  “Especially right now when the Florida budget is stretched so thin, the Legislature and Governor must take responsible steps to correct these inefficiencies and make sure we, as taxpayers, see more of our money coming back to our state.”
 
Primary among the ten recommendations was the finding that Florida lacks effective and proactive systems to maximize the draw down of federal grants.  This is because there is extremely limited coordination between state agencies, the Clearinghouse, and the Washington Office. 
 
“Many times, our state is not receiving these federal grant funds because Florida is not putting up the matching funds required, but we’re also not set up for success” CFO Sink explained.  “This report shows specific steps the Legislature and Governor can take so that Floridian’s see more of their tax money back in their state.”
Some immediate steps that can be taken to increase Florida’s ability to draw down these funds include:
 
• Moving the State Clearinghouse for grant approval from the Department of Environmental Protection to the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget (OPB);
• Expanding the membership of the Clearinghouse to include the CFO, or his or her designee, and representatives from the Florida Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Regulation (LCIR);
• Enhancing the visibility and effectiveness of the Florida Washington Office by requiring coordination between it, the Clearinghouse within OPB, the LCIR, and the Chief Financial Officer; and
• Requiring the Washington Office to produce an annual report to the Legislature detailing its performance and accomplishments in enhancing federal grant funding.
 
The CFO’s report “Initial Recommendations for Maximizing Federal Funding for the State of Florida” and cover letter is attached.

http://www.MyFloridaCFO.com/PressOffice/Newsletter/2009/030609/CFOFederalFundingReport.pdf
 
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.