NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
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373.536 District budget and hearing thereon.—
(1) FISCAL YEAR.—The fiscal year of districts created under the provisions of this chapter shall extend from October 1 of one year through September 30 of the following year.
(2) BUDGET SUBMITTAL.—The budget officer of the district shall, on or before July 15 of each year, submit for consideration by the governing board of the district a tentative budget for the district covering its proposed operations and funding requirements for the ensuing fiscal year.
(3) BUDGET HEARINGS AND WORKSHOPS; NOTICE.—
(a) Unless alternative notice requirements are otherwise provided by law, notice of all budget hearings conducted by the governing board or district staff must be published in a newspaper of general paid circulation in each county in which the district lies not less than 5 days nor more than 15 days before the hearing.
(b) Budget workshops conducted for the public and not governed by s. 200.065 must be advertised in a newspaper of general paid circulation in the community or area in which the workshop will occur not less than 5 days nor more than 15 days before the workshop.
(c) The tentative budget shall be adopted in accordance with the provisions of s. 200.065; however, if the mailing of the notice of proposed property taxes is delayed beyond September 3 in any county in which the district lies, the district shall advertise its intention to adopt a tentative budget and millage rate, pursuant to s. 200.065(3)(g), in a newspaper of general paid circulation in that county.
(d) As provided in s. 200.065(2)(d), the board shall publish one or more notices of its intention to adopt a final budget for the district for the ensuing fiscal year. The notice shall appear adjacent to an advertisement that sets forth the tentative budget in a format meeting the budget summary requirements of s. 129.03(3)(b). The district shall not include expenditures of federal special revenues and state special revenues when preparing the statement required by s. 200.065(3)(l). The notice and advertisement shall be published in one or more newspapers having a combined general paid circulation in each county in which the district lies. Districts may include explanatory phrases and examples in budget advertisements published under s. 200.065 to clarify or illustrate the effect that the district budget may have on ad valorem taxes.
(e) The hearing for adoption of a final budget and millage rate shall be by and before the governing board of the district as provided in s. 200.065 and may be continued from day to day until terminated by the board.
(4) BUDGET CONTROLS; FINANCIAL INFORMATION.—
(a) The final adopted budget for the district is the operating and fiscal guide for the district for the ensuing year; however, transfers of funds may be made within the budget by action of the governing board at a public meeting of the governing board. A budget amendment greater than $1 million must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Office of the Governor. The office shall provide notice of approval to the Legislative Budget Commission.
(b) The district shall control its budget, at a minimum, by funds and shall submit to the Executive Office of the Governor a description of its budget control mechanisms for approval.
(c) If the district receives unanticipated funds after the adoption of the final budget, the final budget may be amended, following review and approval by the Executive Office of the Governor, by including such funds, if notice of intention to amend is provided to the Legislative Budget Commission and is published in the notice of the governing board meeting at which the amendment will be considered, pursuant to s. 120.525. The notice must set forth a summary of the proposed amendment.
(d) In the event of a disaster or of an emergency arising to prevent or avert the same, the governing board is not limited by the budget but may expend funds available for the disaster or emergency or as may be procured for such purpose. In such an event, the governing board shall notify the Executive Office of the Governor and the Legislative Budget Commission as soon as practical, but within 30 days after the governing board’s action.
(e) Each district shall provide a monthly financial statement in the form and manner prescribed by the Department of Financial Services to the district’s governing board and make such monthly financial statement available for public access on its website.
(5) TENTATIVE BUDGET CONTENTS AND SUBMISSION; REVIEW AND APPROVAL.—
(a) The Executive Office of the Governor may approve or disapprove, in whole or in part, the budget of each water management district. The Executive Office of the Governor shall analyze each budget as to the adequacy of fiscal resources available to the district and the adequacy of district expenditures related to water supply, including water resource development projects identified in the district’s regional water supply plans; water quality; flood protection and floodplain management; and natural systems. This analysis shall be based on the particular needs within each water management district in those four areas of responsibility and shall be provided to the Legislative Budget Commission.
(b) The Executive Office of the Governor, the Legislative Budget Commission, and the districts shall develop a process to facilitate review and communication regarding the tentative budgets of districts, as necessary.
(c) The Legislative Budget Commission may reject any of the following district budget proposals:
1. A single purchase of land in excess of $10 million, except for land exchanges.
2. Any cumulative purchase of land during a single fiscal year in excess of $50 million.
3. Any issuance of debt on or after July 1, 2012.
4. Any program expenditures as described in sub-subparagraphs (e)4.e. and f. in excess of 15 percent of a district’s total annual budget.
5. Any individual variances in a district’s tentative budget in excess of 25 percent from a district’s preliminary budget.
Written disapproval of any provision in the tentative budget must be received by the district at least 5 business days before the final district budget adoption hearing conducted under s. 200.065(2)(d). If written disapproval is not received at least 5 business days before the final budget adoption hearing, the governing board may proceed with final adoption. Any provision rejected by the Executive Office of the Governor or the Legislative Budget Commission may not be included in a district’s final budget and may not be acted upon through any other means without the prior approval of the entity rejecting the provision.
(d) Each district shall, by August 1 of each year, submit for review a tentative budget and a description of any significant changes from the preliminary budget submitted to the Legislature pursuant to s. 373.535 to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the chairs of all legislative committees and subcommittees having substantive or fiscal jurisdiction over water management districts, as determined by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as applicable, the secretary of the department, and the governing body of each county in which the district has jurisdiction or derives any funds for the operations of the district. The tentative budget must be posted on the district’s official website at least 2 days before budget hearings held pursuant to s. 200.065 or other law and must remain on the website for at least 45 days.
(e) The tentative budget must be based on the preliminary budget as submitted to the Legislature, and as may be amended by the district in response to review by the Legislature pursuant to ss. 373.503 and 373.535, as the basis for developing the tentative budget for the next fiscal year as provided in this subsection, and must set forth the proposed expenditures of the district, to which may be added an amount to be held as reserve. The tentative budget must include, but is not limited to, the following information for the preceding fiscal year and the current fiscal year, and the proposed amounts for the upcoming fiscal year, in a standard format prescribed by the Executive Office of the Governor, in consultation with the Legislature:
1. The estimated amount of funds remaining at the beginning of the fiscal year which have been obligated for the payment of outstanding commitments not yet completed.
2. The estimated amount of unobligated funds or net cash balance on hand at the beginning of the fiscal year; an accounting of the source, balance, and projected future use of the unobligated funds; and the estimated amount of funds to be raised by district taxes or received from other sources to meet the requirements of the district.
3. The millage rates and the percentage increase above the rolled-back rate, together with a summary of the reasons the increase is required, and the percentage increase in taxable value resulting from new construction within the district.
4. The salaries and benefits, expenses, operating capital outlay, number of authorized positions, and other personal services for the following program areas of the district:
a. Water resource planning and monitoring;
b. Land acquisition, restoration, and public works;
c. Operation and maintenance of works and lands;
e. Outreach for which the information provided must contain a full description and accounting of expenditures for water resources education; public information and public relations, including public service announcements and advertising in any media; and lobbying activities related to local, regional, state and federal governmental affairs, whether incurred by district staff or through contractual services; and
f. Management and administration.
In addition to the program areas reported by all water management districts, the South Florida Water Management District shall include in its budget document separate sections on all costs associated with the Everglades Construction Project and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.
5. The total estimated amount in the district budget for each area of responsibility listed in subparagraph 4. and for water resource, water supply, and alternative water supply development projects identified in the district’s regional water supply plans.
6. A description of each new, expanded, reduced, or eliminated program.
7. The funding sources, including, but not limited to, ad valorem taxes, Surface Water Improvement and Management Program funds, other state funds, federal funds, and user fees and permit fees for each program area.
(f) By September 5 of the year in which the budget is submitted, the chairs of each legislative committee and subcommittee having substantive or fiscal jurisdiction may transmit to each district comments and objections to the proposed budgets. Each district governing board shall include a response to such comments and objections in the record of the governing board meeting where final adoption of the budget takes place, and the record of this meeting shall be transmitted to the Executive Office of the Governor, the department, and the chairs of the legislative appropriations committees.
(g) The Executive Office of the Governor shall annually, on or before December 15, file with the Legislature a report that summarizes its review of the water management districts’ tentative budgets and displays the adopted budget allocations by program area. The report must identify the districts that are not in compliance with the reporting requirements of this section. State funds shall be withheld from a water management district that fails to comply with these reporting requirements.
(6) FINAL BUDGET; ANNUAL AUDIT; CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PLAN; WATER RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT WORK PROGRAM.—
(a) Each district must, by the date specified for each item, furnish copies of the following documents to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the chairs of all legislative committees and subcommittees having substantive or fiscal jurisdiction over the districts, as determined by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives as applicable, the secretary of the department, and the governing board of each county in which the district has jurisdiction or derives any funds for the operations of the district:
1. The adopted budget, to be furnished within 10 days after its adoption.
2. A financial audit of its accounts and records, to be furnished within 10 days after its acceptance by the governing board. The audit must be conducted in accordance with s. 11.45 and the rules adopted thereunder. In addition to the entities named above, the district must provide a copy of the audit to the Auditor General within 10 days after its acceptance by the governing board.
3. A 5-year capital improvements plan, to be included in the consolidated annual report required by s. 373.036(7). The plan must include expected sources of revenue for planned improvements and must be prepared in a manner comparable to the fixed capital outlay format set forth in s. 216.043.
4. A 5-year water resource development work program to be furnished within 30 days after the adoption of the final budget. The program must describe the district’s implementation strategy and include an annual funding plan for each of the 5 years included in the plan for the water resource and water supply development components, including alternative water supply development, of each approved regional water supply plan developed or revised under s. 373.709. The work program must address all the elements of the water resource development component in the district’s approved regional water supply plans, as well as the water supply projects proposed for district funding and assistance. The annual funding plan shall identify both anticipated available district funding and additional funding needs for the second through fifth years of the funding plan. The work program must identify projects in the work program which will provide water; explain how each water resource and water supply project will produce additional water available for consumptive uses; estimate the quantity of water to be produced by each project; provide an assessment of the contribution of the district’s regional water supply plans in supporting the implementation of minimum flows and minimum water levels and water reservations; and ensure sufficient water is available to timely meet the water supply needs of existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses for a 1-in-10-year drought event and to avoid the adverse effects of competition for water supplies.
(b) Within 30 days after its submittal, the department shall review the proposed work program and submit its findings, questions, and comments to the district. The review must include a written evaluation of the program’s consistency with the furtherance of the district’s approved regional water supply plans, and the adequacy of proposed expenditures. As part of the review, the department shall post the proposed work program on its website and give interested parties the opportunity to provide written comments on each district’s proposed work program. Within 45 days after receipt of the department’s evaluation, the governing board shall state in writing to the department which of the changes recommended in the evaluation it will incorporate into its work program submitted as part of the March 1 consolidated annual report required by s. 373.036(7) or specify the reasons for not incorporating the changes. The department shall include the district’s responses in a final evaluation report and shall submit a copy of the report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(c) If any entity listed in paragraph (a) provides written comments to the district regarding any document furnished under this subsection, the district must respond to the comments in writing and furnish copies of the comments and written responses to the other entities.
(d) The final adopted budget must be posted on the water management district’s official website within 30 days after adoption and must remain on the website for at least 2 years.
History.—s. 28, ch. 25209, 1949; s. 3, ch. 29790, 1955; s. 4, ch. 61-497; s. 1, ch. 65-432; s. 1, ch. 67-74; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 18, ch. 74-234; s. 46, ch. 80-274; s. 230, ch. 81-259; s. 3, ch. 84-164; s. 2, ch. 86-190; s. 9, ch. 91-288; s. 24, ch. 93-213; s. 276, ch. 94-356; s. 1012, ch. 95-148; s. 5, ch. 96-339; s. 16, ch. 97-160; s. 6, ch. 98-88; s. 20, ch. 2001-256; s. 12, ch. 2004-381; s. 16, ch. 2005-36; s. 12, ch. 2009-243; s. 19, ch. 2010-205; s. 2, ch. 2011-67; s. 22, ch. 2011-144; s. 4, ch. 2012-126; s. 60, ch. 2013-15; s. 17, ch. 2016-1; s. 16, ch. 2019-15.
Note.—Former s. 378.28.