According to well-known political science professors in Florida universities, the only constitutional mandate to which the Florida Legislature must adhere is to pass a balanced budget (MacManus, Jewett, Bonanza, & Dye, 2015, p. 184). The process begins with each of Florida’s state agencies crafting their individual budgets almost as soon as the new budget year takes effect (July 1). These budgets are submitted to the Governor’s office where they are reviewed by staff and then ultimately submitted to the legislature (p. 243). During the budget process, legislators are careful to ensure that they procure state dollars, oftentimes referred to as “pork,” for the constituents who elected them (p. 209).

The premise of this paper is to explore the possibility that political influence or power has a direct effect on the amount of tax dollars appropriated to Florida’s 67 counties, 10 media markets, and in turn to Florida’s three geographic regions. First, a legislative power index is developed. We then analyze county by county allocations of budget year 2016/2017 and the legislative power index to determine if there is a relationship between the amount of money distributed by county and the legislative influence that exists in that county. The research finds that the legislative power of a county as measured by the legislative power index had no statistically significant effect on per capita allocation. The presence of a state university and miles of roadway in a county did have an influence.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Jewett, Aubrey


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences


Political Science

Degree Program

Political Science; Pre-Law


Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

December 2016