Florida is First for Government Efficiency

Florida is first in the country for people moving to our state, outperforming Texas and California. Our state workforce is also the most efficient in the nation with 108 state workers per 10,000 in population.

Administrative and Operational Efficiencies –The Florida First budget recommends $48.8 million in savings and a decrease of 1,368 positions as a result of state agencies’ continued efforts to become more efficient.

In order to achieve even greater efficiency and reduce the burden of government on taxpayers, Governor Scott is proposing a three-tiered bonus pay system to incentivize state workers at every executive, cabinet and judicial agency. Under Governor Scott’s performance bonus proposal, state employees can earn up to an extra $1,500, if each tier is met, for ensuring that Florida remains first in public service:Government Efficiency

  • Tier 1: $500 if the agency meets its performance measures;
  • Tier 2: $500 if the employee is rated a minimum of “Satisfactory” (meets SMART expectations);
  • Tier 3: $500 maximum for agencies to fund with budget savings (amount determined by agency head based on realized savings).

Contract and Lease Renegotiations – Savings resulting from contract and lease renegotiations have generated a statewide savings of $50.6 million since Fiscal Year 2012-2013. This includes savings in the Florida First budget of $5.7 million. Savings will continue to grow as additional contracts are identified and renegotiated.

Reduction in Debt Service – Because Florida continues to pay off debt, Florida taxpayers are saving money. The Florida First budget realizes a savings of $51.1 million due to reduced debt service obligations and State Board of Administration fees associated with the issuance of bonds for public schools, Florida colleges, state universities, and state facilities. Florida’s bond debt has dropped by $2.4 billion since 2010.

Florida has significantly less debt per capita than New York, Illinois and California. In fact, California and Illinois have more than double the debt per capita of Florida, and New York has more than triple the debt per capita of Florida. Over the last five fiscal years, refinancing activity has generated gross debt service savings of approximately $1.6 billion. Refunding transactions executed over the last five years total nearly $8.9 billion – lowering the interest rate on about 35 percent of Florida’s total outstanding debt. With historically low interest rates and Florida’s AAA credit ratings, Florida has saved an additional $162.3 million in gross debt service thus far in fiscal year 2015-16.

State Employee Health Coverage Savings – The Florida First budget includes a savings of $24.4 million by proposing that all employees pay the same amount for health insurance coverage - $50 per month for individual coverage and $180 per month for family coverage. This will reduce the employer contribution for health insurance coverage for employees in the Senior Management Service and Selected Exempt Service systems. The Governor has proposed this plan every year he has been in office.

Efficient Management of State Vehicles – The Florida First budget recommends $1.6 million for a new, single Fleet Management system that will make Florida’s state government fleet management one of the most efficient in the nation. Florida owns nearly 25,000 vehicles, which is one of the largest public sector fleets in the nation and is currently managed through six separate systems. The new system will streamline distribution of real-time information to all agency fleet users, customers, and management. The system will more than pay for itself within the first year after implementation through increased efficiency, and will save Florida’s taxpayers millions in the years to come.

Dependent Eligibility Verification Services – The Florida First budget recommends $1 million for a one-time audit to determine dependent eligibility in the state employee health insurance program. This audit is estimated to save taxpayers more than $40 million per year by reducing waste, fraud and abuse in the state health plan.

Pension Unfunded Liability – The unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) of the Florida Retirement System (FRS) Defined Benefit Program amounted to $23 billion on July 1, 2015. Based on an actuarial liability of $166.3 billion and an actuarial value of assets of $143.3 billion, the program is 86.2 percent funded as of July 1, 2015. As of October 31, 2015, the market value of the plan’s assets is estimated to be $144.6 billion.

The Florida First budget implements the recommendations of the independent actuary and proposes to fully fund the recommended contributions to the UAL. This helps Florida continue to have one of the best funded pension plans of the largest states in the nation.