$1.7 trillion spending bill has $95 million for South Florida
Debbie Wasserman Schultz hopes to keep the cancer survivor community together.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz announces new $55 million boost for federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.

The new federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale is getting an extra $55 million boost in the 2023 appropriations bills released late, last night, Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Tuesday.

The additional funds are needed to get the 255,000-square foot project off the ground due to rising construction costs. The project is getting the biggest chunk of $95 million in federal money that’s in the bill for Congressional District 25 that will go to a vote later this week.

Congress in 2018, appropriated $190 million for the courthouse but costs have risen by 34% since the project was first estimated at $147 million, Wasserman Schultz’s office said. That spending and $40 million more in funding for projects in Wasserman Schultz’s district are part of a $1.7 trillion bipartisan deal between the House and the Senate unveiled in Tuesday’s wee hours as the government races to outrun a Christmas Eve deadline for funding the government.

Federal lawmakers from both parties say they support the deal. And it’s expected to pass both chambers later this week. President Joe Biden is urging lawmakers to support it.

The courthouse is at the heart of government operations that’s now struggling to function in the current space, Wasserman Schultz said.

“The scales of federal justice in our community operate under immense space constraints and unsafe conditions, and I am so proud to help deliver the $55 million needed to begin work and avoid further delays on a brand new federal courthouse,” Wasserman Schultz said in a prepared statement.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida is one of the largest and busiest federal judicial districts in the country, according to Wasserman Schultz’s office. Its jurisdiction covers 15,000 square miles and serves more than six million Floridians. Right now, the 40-year-old federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale has a repair backlog of $20 million. Mold, chronic roof leaks and flooding plague the center where 10,000 civil cases are filed annually, according to a news release.

“This is significant and positive news for all our citizens who rely upon a swift and seamless federal court system, and especially for those who valiantly move these wheels of justice,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Combined with all the other critical local funding needs that this omnibus spending plan includes, I am so thankful and very proud that it will make life better for millions of people in South Florida and Broward County in the next year.”

Other significant items in the bill for South Florida are:

—$11 million for Florida International University to try out new monitoring systems to be tested near areas vulnerable to sea level rise.

—$5 million to the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization that will improve University Drive.

—$3.8 million for Nova Southeastern University (NSU) to increase research about stony coral tissue loss that threatens ecosystems crucial to recreational fishing and scuba diving.

—$3.8 million for the city of Hollywood to upgrade their drinking water infrastructure.

—$2.5 million for the City of Sunrise to build a station to expand different kinds of transportation with bus stops and transfers, bike and scooter rentals and electric charging stations.

—$2.5 million to NSU to purchase the cybersecurity equipment and infrastructure needed for high-performance computer capabilities.

—$2 million for Feeding South Florida for a mobile market and kitchen that makes free and low-cost healthy and nutritious foods available to low-income Broward County families.

Broward County Mayor Lamar Fisher said he was glad to hear that a major thoroughfare on the western side of his county was included in the massive federal spending bill.

“This will improve University Drive dramatically,” Fisher said.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Bob

    December 21, 2022 at 7:27 am

    Can someone please calculate the percentage of the 1.7 trillion that Florida received.

  • Karen

    December 21, 2022 at 7:29 am

    Sounds like Florida receives possibly 75 million of 1.7 trillion? Doesn’t sound like much to me for one of the largest states, where is all the other money going?

Comments are closed.


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