Jacksonville, FL - It’s more than one billion dollars that your lawmakers could save.
Florida TaxWatch, a non-partisan government watchdog, released their annual recommendations on how the state can save money. This year’s list included 25 recommendations totaling $1.12 billion.
“When you are wasting or spending money unnecessarily- that’s money that you cannot spend positively,” says TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro.
Some of their proposed changes could impact not just cost, but other areas as well. For example, one recommendation which would save an estimated $58.8 million would expand electronic monitoring for non-violent offenders as a way to keep them out of prison.
“There’s so many ways to do things better, smarter,” he says.
Calabro says that opens other opportunities, like allowing offenders to expand their work opportunities or receive more thorough counseling services. They carefully weighed the change against any affect it would have on safety.
“It’s no good to save here and spend a lot more in picking up the pieces of a destroyed community,” he says.
While he’s hopeful all the recommendations will be adopted, he says they will consider the proposal successful if anywhere from two-thirds to three-fourths of the recommendations are taken up.
He says lawmakers often get behind their proposals, which are crafted through public and private sector input. He has a renewed hope for this year as well because they have greatly pared down their proposal to just 25 recommendations, whereas last year they listed 135. Calabro says the more focused list will help lawmakers see the priorities.
The biggest savings would come from implementing a defined employer contribution health insurance model, saving about $380.3 million. That’s just one in a series of changes to healthcare, retirement, or other government related procedures. You can see the full list of the changes and a detailed explanation on each attached to the left.