Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the state's budget into law late Thursday, clearing the way for increased expenditures on key issues, according to a release.
What You Need To Know
- DeSantis signed the budget into law Thursday
- The budget includes spending to increase pay for state employees and teachers
- The measure also puts money towards providing safer schools as well
- Some of the vetoed projects would have benefited local residents
The budget includes $169 million in tax relief, according to the release, and would have included an additional $1.5 billion in spending that he vetoed.
“While other states advocated for never-ending lockdowns during the pandemic, Florida followed the science and led the nation in ensuring there were opportunities for Florida families to go to school, go to work, and provide for themselves and their families,” said DeSantis.
“I’m proud to sign the Florida Leads budget that continues to exemplify Florida’s continued resolve and unshakeable economic foundation, while establishing Florida’s position as a nationwide leader in education, protecting our environment, creating a resilient economy, and ensuring public safety. We did all this while maintaining strong fiscal reserves and lowering taxes to make sure Florida families benefit this year and for decades to come,” he said about the budget.
Among the largest cuts affecting voters is a $7 million cut for funds that would have gone to the Moffitt Cancer campus in Pasco County. Addititionally, $35 million was cut from the budget that would have developed a new sports center that could have been a training facility for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Among the line items in the budget to survive DeSantis’ line-item veto was a fuel tax holiday to save Florida families $1 billion at the pump. This plan would reduce fuel prices by $0.25 a gallon. There is also a 10-day disaster preparedness holiday that will save Floridians $1 million.
The budget also allocates $453.1 million in additional pay increases for state employees to include law enforcement officers, corrections officers, firefighters, and other state employees.
Education was also a top priority. The budget includes $600 million to continue to raise the base pay rate of teachers, $1.4 billion to boost funding for early child education, and an additional pot to allow for a one-time payment of $1,000 for full-time teachers and principals.
In addition, school safety was also a priority. The state’s guardian program received more money, and more money went to fund Youth Mental Awareness and Assistance Training as well. All told, $210 million in state funds will go towards boosting school safety.
Some other projects received funds, including Bright Futures, the environment, several agricultural projects, as well as increased transportation and economic development for the state.
Among the most controversial projects in the budget was $50 million dollars set aside for a courthouse building in Lakeland to construct a 6th appeals court in the state, which many in the legal community have said simply wasn’t needed.