The Florida Legislature's Office of Economic and Demographic Research presented its long-range fiscal outlook to the Legislative Budget Commission on September 3, 2009. The legislative economists forecast continued deficits for the state fiscal years beginning in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
For the 2010 – 2011 fiscal year, the shortfall is expected to be at least $923 million for what budgeters refer to as the state's “critical needs,” but could be as high as $2.6 billion if the state continues to fund “high-priority needs.” For the 2011 – 2012 fiscal year, a shortfall of $2.3 billion to $5 billion is expected. As the state economy recovers, a smaller shortfall is possible for 2012 – 2013, ranging from $1.1 billion to $5.2 billion.
A shortfall of $286 million is anticipated for the current budget year, which ends on June 30, 2010, but the state has sufficient reserves to cover the shortfall without further budget cuts.
Legislative economists now forecast that the state's economic growth rates will lag behind any national economic recovery but will “begin a slow return to more typical levels.” For fiscal year 2010 – 2011, the economists expect weak national GDP growth, virtually no Florida population growth, and weak growth for Florida employment and personal income. By the following year, they forecast slow improvement in Florida's unemployment rate and a return to normal or accelerated growth rates for most other measures of the Florida economy.