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Grandfather Florida Government Spending Report


Michael Hodges

Data Sources:

The author found it most difficult to find a single source of clean data within State government on state direct spending and consistent data on headcounts (including the same on local government). Generally state reports track only appropriations (spending authority) and revenue, and not actual spending (broken down by direct state spending and transfers to local government such as school boards). The purpose of the Grandfather report on Florida was to look at all government spending in Florida (excluding federal), meaning state direct plus local government spending from all sources and associated employee counts (totals, and full-time equivalents).

Author Comment:

There is the appearance that State Government is only interested in tracking of appropriations and revenues, and not measuring and reporting in a consistent manner the macro trends of total government spending (state direct plus local) in the State, and associated headcounts - - including such important trends of direct spending vs. gross state product and personal incomes, or headcount trends vs. general population.

In the opinion of the author this should be tracked in a central source, and reports of long-term historic data should be provided periodically of trends in state AND local government spending and headcounts to assist state legislators in looking at the total impact on Florida's economy from all government spending, not just state appropriations & revenues. These are needed for tracking and planning efficiency and government productivity.

Numerous sources of data were used to compile this report, including:

Dept. of Commence, Bureau of Census, Branch Chief Henry Wolf, and data by Donna Hirsch (expenditures) and Meredith Dehart (headcount), with numerous documents. (plus various Census data available on the web).

Here are Census data for 2004 regarding state & local govt. employee counts, population, and payroll costs (state government and city/local govt.)

Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis - - many sources therein, incl. David Sullivan and Wallace Bailey. Both economists at this agency agreed these trends should be posted and the base should be both gross state products and national income.

Regional Economic Information Service, maintained by the University of Virginia.

Office of the Governor, Economic Analysis Unit, Office Plan & Budgeting, Don Langston, chief analysts

State of Florida Comptroller's Office, Bureau Chief of Accounting, Bob Spooner ( dbf27@supernet.net )

Economist-Fla. State Legislature, Div. Economic & Demographic Research, Frank Williams ( hfwill@freenet.fsu.edu . (a special thanks is extended to Mr. Williams for his research time and open communication of such).

Dick Drennon, the State of Florida's Legislative Council on Inter-government (

email: drennon@freenet.tlh.fl.us ).

Florida Budget Report & 10-year summary of appropriations data

Grandfather Report author:
Michael Hodges, became a resident of Florida in 1959, is married, and both children and four grandfather were born in Florida.
EMAIL author

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