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Governor DeSantis vetoes more than $1B of the legislature-approved $93.2B budget

Governor Ron DeSantis held a briefing Monday afternoon in Tallahassee.

DeSantis signed a $92.2 billion budget after a veto of more than $1 billion of the $93.2 billion legislature-approved version. As an example of the vetoes, he said they include $20 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund, an economic-development program.

Lawmakers passed the budget in March, just as the economic impacts of coronavirus were beginning to be felt. In the midst of the pandemic, the Governor ensured Floridians that the state will be fiscally stable for the year to come.

“Despite the present challenges Florida faces due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget ensures the state’s priorities are protected and funded,” said Governor DeSantis.

“Our current economic landscape is vastly different since the Legislature passed this budget in March. As Governor, I must remain a mindful steward of taxpayer dollars. This budget reflects a steadfast commitment to Floridians by safeguarding important investments in key areas including education, the environment, infrastructure, public safety and more. As we move forward with our Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery, we will overcome the adversities before us and emerge stronger than before,” he added.

In terms of education, the budget includes $500 million to raise the starting salary for new teachers in K-12 schools. Also included is $4 billion for both the Florida College System and the State University System. There is also an increase of $18.9 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Florida.

Environmentally, the budget includes $625 million for Everglades restoration and protection of water sources. Additionally, $160 million was added for targeted water quality improvement.

More provisions in the budget include $138.1 million to fight the opioid crisis in Florida, $117 million for families and children that receive assistance from Florida’s child welfare system and more than $8 million to expand the state’s crime databases.

Lastly, pay increases for most state employees, namely correction officers. The state budget includes a $17.3 million for a program that transitions these officers form 12 to 8.5-hour shifts.

Below is a partial list of vetoes that specifically impact Southwest Florida:

  • Collier Community Abstinence Program, CCAP (HB 4377) (Senate Form
    1359) $200,000
  • City of Cape Coral – Real-Time Crime Center (HB 9059) (Senate Form
    1615) $250,000
  • Arcadia Rodeo Multi-Functional Facility (HB 3217) (Senate Form 1739) 200,000
  • Charlotte County Countryman Ackerman Septic-to-Sewer (HB 4315)
    (Senate Form 1236) $1,000,000
  • Collier County Cocohatchee River Critical Dredge Project (HB 4829)
    (Senate Form 1042) $100,000
  • Collier County Golden Gate City Outfall Restoration Project Phase 1 (HB
    3369) (Senate Form 1040) $100,000
  • Fort Myers Beach Estero Boulevard Water Improvements (HB 9051)
    (Senate Form 1689) $200,000
  • Naples Design of Phase 2 – Naples Bay Red Tide Septic Tank Mitigation
    Program (HB 4835) (Senate Form 1039) $1,100,000
  • Punta Gorda Boca Grande Area Water Quality Improvements (HB 4317)
    (Senate Form 1743) $100,000
  • Charlotte County Firefighter Decontamination Equipment (HB 4313) – 300,000
  • Marco Island Regional Maritime, Fire, EMS Training and Operations
    Facility (HB 4825) (Senate Form 1055) – $650,000
  • Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue Service District – New Station 106
    (HB 4877) (Senate Form 2037) $1,250,000
  • Special Categories – Glades County E-911 Public Safety Facility 700,000

—–

  • Statewide Comprehensive Flood Plain Model $2,000,000
  • Mental Health Assistance Allocation for Florida Virtual Schools (Senate
    Form 2420) $625,000

PDF: Read the full list of line-item vetoes

The News Service of Florida also contributed to this report.

Watch the press conference here:

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