Jeff Atwater pitches $311.2 million budget request
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Jeff Atwater

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater this week turned in his budget request for 2016-17, asking for $311.2 million.

“The agency’s most important budget priority was $45.3 million to upgrade FLAIR, the state’s three decade old accounting system,” LobbyTools reported. “The agency is in the second year of replacing FLAIR with the Florida Planning, Accounting and Ledger Management (PALM) system.”

“Our highest priority is our Florida PALM project,” department spokeswoman Ashley Carr said.

“Florida’s current accounting and cash management system (or FLAIR) processes nearly $90 billion in payments annually on a software system that is more than 30 years old,” she said. “The current system no longer meets the needs of our growing state, and it must be replaced.

“It’s been patched, updated, and modified many times over the years, but these workarounds are becoming more difficult, more expensive, and leave the state exposed to unnecessary risks,” Carr said.

State agencies and departments send in legislative budget requests, or LBRs, in advance of the regular session, when lawmakers draw up the budget for the next fiscal year.

Of the $311.2 million sought by Atwater, $50.8 million comes from general revenue and $260.4 million from various trust funds.

Atwater oversees the Department of Financial Services, which includes the state’s financial services and insurance regulators.

The 2016 Legislative Session begins Jan. 12.

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected]


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