Power to Appropriate State Funds Is Legislative
Florida's Constitution provides that "no money shall be drawn from the treasury except in pursuance of appropriation made by law." Art. VII, 1(c), Fla. Const.
The state may not employ state funds unless such use of funds is made pursuant to an appropriation by the Legislature.
State v. Fla. Police Benevolent Ass'n, Inc., 613 So. 2d 415, 418 (Fla. 1993) ("Exclusive control over public funds rest solely with the legislature.");
Chiles v. Children A, B, C, D, E, & F, 589 So. 2d 260, 265 (Fla. 1991) ("This Court has long held that the power to appropriate state funds is legislative and is to be exercised only through duly enacted statutes.").
In State ex rel. Kurz v. Lee, 121 Fla. 360, 163 So. 859 (Fla. 1935), this Court stated:
The object of a constitutional provision requiring an appropriation made by law as the authority to withdraw money from the state treasury is to prevent the expenditure of the public funds already in the treasury, or potentially therein from tax sources provided to raise it, without the consent of the public given by their representatives in formal legislative acts.
Such a provision secures to the Legislature (except where the Constitution controls to the contrary) the exclusive power of deciding how, when, and for what purpose the public funds shall be applied in carrying on the government.163 So. at 868.
Therefore, Florida's Constitution expressly limits the state's ability to expend funds and enter contracts by requiring specific statutory authority.
Several laws do grant various state agencies the express authority to execute contracts. See, e.g., 125.012 (granting counties the power to contract relative to various project facilities such as toll roads, waterway facilities, dredging, utility agreements, etc.), 125.031 (granting counties the power to enter into leases and lease-purchase agreements involving land needed for public purposes), 153.62(11) (granting county district boards the power to contract with respect to water supply and sewage disposal), 163.370 (giving counties and municipalities the power to contract with respect to community redevelopment), 186.006(10) (granting the office of the Governor the power to contract respecting research facilities), 337.11 (authorizing the Department of Transportation to enter into contracts for road construction), 338.2216(1)(b) (authorizing the Florida Turnpike Enterprise to contract to maintain the turnpike and promote its use), Fla. Stat. (2004).
The Legislature also has authorized certain activities that implicitly grant state agencies the power to contract for necessary goods and services. See, e.g., 20.315, 945.215, Fla. Stat. (2004).