Florida Legislature Reaches Agreement on Budget Including $37.5M for SLERS Network
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 | Comments

The Florida House of Representatives and Senate reached an agreement on a budget proposal that would include $37.5 million in funding for the Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS) for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which begins in July.

That amount includes $19 million for payment of a contract for the network. The state’s current contract with L3Harris Technologies for operating and maintaining the system is set to expire June 30. The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) and L3Harris have been negotiating on an extension of the contract for several months, but so far no extension has been announced.

The proposed budget also includes $5 million in contract services and staff augmentation related to the network, $12.5 million for tower leases and $1 million for radio equipment replacement.

In addition to extending the current contract, the Florida DMS is looking at procuring a new SLERS network to replace the current network. The state first began procuring the new SLERS network in 2016 and eventually selected Motorola to provide the new network in 2018.

At that time, Harris, which has since merged with L3 Technologies to form L3Harris, contested the award. One point of contention in L3Harris’ contest of the award was the use of several towers that Harris said it owns. In those appeals, L3Harris said that Motorola would be unable to use certain towers that it said the state of Florida had conveyed to Harris as part of the original contract. In that case, L3Harris also argued that the state did not have the authority to allow another vendor besides L3Harris to use the towers. The $12.5 million included in the budget may be used to help alleviate this issue.

Two courts ruled against L3Harris in its protests and recommended that the state continue with its award of the contract to Motorola. However, at the start of 2020, contract negotiations between Motorola and the Florida DMS fell apart, leading the DMS to seek an extension of the current contract with L3Harris and relaunch the procurement process.

In December, consulting firm Federal Engineering delivered a business use case for the new network, and earlier this month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that extended a surcharge that funds the network. That surcharge was set to sunset at the end of July, but the bill extends it to July 2026. The sunset of that surcharge would have likely eliminated $42.3 million in funding for the new network. The state has also released an invitation to negotiate for the new network.

Under Florida law, the Florida legislature cannot vote on the budget agreement until three days after the proposal has been agreed on. The agreement was reached on April 27, so the vote will likely occur April 30.

Would you like to comment on this story? Find our comments system below.

Post a comment
Name: *
Email: *
Title: *
Comment: *


No Comments Submitted Yet

Be the first by using the form above to submit a comment!


June 2021

21 - 25
UTC Telecom and Technology Conference
Portland, Oregon

August 2021

15 - 18
APCO Conference and Expo
San Antonio, Texas

September 2021

27 - 30
International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) 2021
Las Vegas

November 2021

3 - 5
Critical Communications World 2021
Madrid, Spain

More Events >

Site Navigation