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Priority Legislation Filed to Help Close Clerks’ Current Funding Gap

Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers announced the filing of legislation to provide a more stable revenue source for their court-related responsibilities. Senate Bill 1130 Clerks of the Court sponsored by Sen. Travis Hutson and House Bill 977 Clerks of Court sponsored by Rep. Adam Botana aim to diversify revenues, support staffing needs and account for services without a dedicated funding source.
“Florida’s Clerks of Court are grateful to Sen. Hutson and Rep. Botana for their leadership on this issue,” said 2022-2023 FCCC President and Martin County Clerk of Court and Comptroller Carolyn Timmann. “This legislation will provide the resources we need to support our judicial and law enforcement partners and the diverse communities we serve statewide.”
The Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation (CCOC) recently identified that Clerks of Court are operating with a $36.5 million funding gap between their needs-based budget and their current revenue-limited budget. To close this year’s funding gap and begin addressing some longstanding issues, SB 1130 and HB 977 contain three main priorities:
  1. Diversify Clerk Revenues by redirecting the statutory distribution of certain revenues for court-related services, enabling Clerks of Court to retain more revenue from the services they provide.
  2. Support Necessary Staffing by providing mechanisms for Clerks to remain competitive with local and national wage increases.
  3. Account for Critical Services Without a Funding Source by providing a reimbursement process for additional services where fees are currently waived, including certain public services, as well as civil indigency cases.
In recent years, the Legislature has made incremental changes to stabilize the Clerks’ funding model; however, Clerks still face significant funding challenges. Clerks’ current funding model relies heavily on revenue sources that fluctuate dramatically. Clerks retain only about half of the fines and fees they collect, with 46 percent being distributed to general revenue and outside trust funds.