Every legislative session, lawmakers partake of a tradition whereby allocations either balloon or suddenly appear as the state budget is finalized.
This year seems to be one of restraint, relatively, with "only" $100 million in magic money emerging at the last minute.
Last year, $300 million in late spending suddenly materialized. But Gov. Rick Scott wielded his veto power, carving out many of those hometown projects among his $400 million in budget cuts.
He echoed the reason Florida TaxWatch annually states in its list of "turkeys" in the budget, that the projects had not been fully vetted by legislators and the spending lacks an outline of benefits to the state or the possible yield on the tax investment.
Two local projects got a boost in these budget negotiations.
Nathan Benderson Park near the Manatee-Sarasota county line, the host of the World Rowing Championships in 2017, had been set to receive $2 million to prepare for the major event.
That got bumped up by $500,000. This is easily justified: Tourism spending will benefit the local economies and produce tax revenue for the state.
MCR Health Services, formerly known as Manatee County Rural Health Services, had been budgeted $300,000 but that swelled by an extra $1.2 million.
This private, not-for-profit organization is a key health care provider over three counties, with 25 health care centers and nine pharmacies among its sites. MCR Health Services is the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in the southeastern United States.
MCR takes some of the pressure off other health care providers by assisting the underserved and uninsured, a vital service to the community.
A healthier population is a wise investment with the return being better production from workers and less strain on community resources.