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Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee Credits Governor DeSantis and Legislators for Successful Session

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –

Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee today credited Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida’s legislature for a successful session and for making key investments to continue Florida’s successful elections administration, to improve business efficiency, to support local libraries, and to preserve Florida’s history and culture.

 

“I want to thank Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Wilton Simpson and Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls for their leadership, as well as all members of the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives for their hard work and dedication to serving the people of Florida throughout the 2021 Legislative Session,” said Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee. “The Department of State is also grateful for the Florida Legislature’s generous support of Florida’s critical election infrastructure, the state’s libraries and library systems, its museums and cultural programming, and our cultural and historical resources.” 

Some key successes of the Florida Department of State during the 2021 legislative session include:

 

2021 Budget Highlights

 

  • Funding to Strengthen Florida’s critical election infrastructure – The Department worked hard to ensure the security and integrity of Florida’s 2020 elections.  The legislature’s continued support and funding for this critical priority ensures that the Department has vital resources to maintain the integrity of our elections infrastructure, and to continue to support and assist local elections officials. Together with our local and federal elections partners, the Department will continue to incorporate modernized solutions for servers, network security, and Cloud systems and to defend against cyber and physical threats to our elections systems. These investments ensure that Florida elections officials have the necessary resources to provide Florida’s citizens with secure, timely and accurate elections.  The budget includes $16.7 million for state-level election oversight activities, with a focus on cybersecurity enhancements to Florida's election system. This amount includes:
    • $3 million for the Supervisors of Elections to continue cybersecurity initiatives and improvements to their systems.
    • $2 million for Election Legacy Hardware for security improvements and enhancements in election technology.
  • Funding for Artists and Cultural Entities throughout the state – The Division of Arts and Culture grants support Florida’s cultural organizations and individual artists and support Florida's position as a recognized national leader in arts and culture. The year’s funding of $23.2 million will provide grants for over 500 projects.
  • Fully funding Florida’s Historic Preservation Grant Program – This year’s $2.4 million allotment provides funding to assist local, regional and statewide efforts to preserve significant historic and archaeological resources, and to promote knowledge and appreciation of the history of Florida.
  • First of its kind funding for African-American Historical and Cultural sites – $30 million in funding is provided to facilities in Florida that highlight the contributions, culture, or history of African-Americans.
  • Funding to support Florida’s Libraries and Library Systems –  Libraries play a vital role in providing new technologies, training, tools, and even makerspaces to Florida’s local communities. Libraries also support the state by providing economic development, workforce recovery and by acting as small business incubators in their communities.
    • State Aid to Libraries – The over-arching goal of the State Aid to Libraries Program is to assist local governments in maintaining and developing vital library services. Specifically, providing equal access to free public library service to all residents of the service areas of participating governments, coordinating library service throughout the service area, and providing consistent plans, programs, policies and procedures in the operation, maintenance and development of library service throughout the service area.  $21.5 million is provided for this program.
    • Library Cooperative Grants - The Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services is the designated information resource provider for the Florida Legislature and all state agencies. The Division coordinates and helps fund activities of public libraries and provides a framework for statewide library initiatives.  These funds support bibliographic record enhancement, statewide delivery service, reciprocal borrowing, and other library cooperative needs.  $2 million is provided for this program.

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