Dig through mountains of sprinkles with these interactive charts
So. Many. Sprinkles. Stock image via Adobe.

Rainbow sprinkles close up background
Here's where all the sweet stuff is heading this year.

Call them sprinkles, jimmies, nonpareils, cachous or hundreds-and-thousands — as long as the check clears, nobody cares. And there will be a lot of checks.

Monday saw the release of the House and Senate supplemental funding lists, the budgetary equivalent of a 5-year-old with a Sweet Factory gift card. It works something like this: Lawmakers grab a fist full of sugar and “sprinkle” it onto whatever projects they want.

Like the confection they’re named for, budget sprinkles come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Here’s the quick-and-dirty, broken down by budget silo:

Note: These charts are best viewed on a desktop/laptop.

Many of the beneficiaries are local project requests that were left on the cutting room floor during regular budget negotiations, such as the $850,000 set-aside to revamp the historic Palladium theatre in St. Petersburg.

Another common occurrence are seven- and eight-figure checks for state colleges and universities. They show up on the bill as “operational enhancements,” which is about as nebulous as it sounds — it’s basically funny money for institutions to use on efforts to boost their rankings, perhaps by poaching professors from prestige universities, or maybe by adding some on-campus flair that awakens the inner niffler in rising college freshman.

With $73.4 million worth of sprinkles, higher ed’s cupcake will have a distinctive crunch.

Sprinkles are no less popular at the inmate canteen, with the House sprinkle list including about $38.1 million for a bonus program targeting high-vacancy facilities. The House pulls half that funding from recurring general revenue and marks the other half down as one-time funding. Representatives are also doling out $2 million in nonrecurring general revenue for private prison operations.

But, as is tradition, infrastructure projects are the big winner in the 2023-24 supplemental funding lists. The category includes a whopping $110 million for projects ranging from $1.5 million for construction work at the Gulf County airport to $15 million to replace the crane at JAXPORT.

The size and scope of sprinkle projects can be dizzying to those uninitiated to Florida’s budget-making process, and Florida Politics doesn’t want to make you mace a tiger a la Del Preston to find the sweets you’re looking for. That’s why we’ve developed our first-ever interactive charts to help you sift through the 2023-24 sprinkle lists.

Here they are for your viewing pleasure:

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Florida Politics’ Digital Services Manager, Daniel Dean, contributed to this report.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.



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