TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Pointing to “difficult circumstances,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said he signed a $92.2 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year after vetoing about $1 billion in spending.
The large numbers of vetoes came as state revenues plummet because of economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers passed a proposed $93.2 billion budget in March as the effects of the virus started to be felt.
“We always knew that we could see an economic downturn,” DeSantis said of COVID-19 closures.
The new budget will take effect Wednesday, the start of the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
DeSantis said the budget includes $500 million to increase teacher salaries and more than $625 million for Everglades and other water-related projects --- two of his top priorities of the legislative session.
Also, he said it includes pay raises for state employees.
As an example of the vetoes, he said they include $20 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund, an economic-development program. To see a complete list of the vetoed budget items, click here.
Other budget items in the bill included:
- $6 million for correctional facility improvements, including $3 million for security equipment.
- $17.5 million for pay increases for correctional officers.
- $8.1 million to expand Florida’s crime databases.
- $2.3 million to implement Florida behavioral threat assessment strategy.
- $138.1 million to fight the opioid crisis in Florida
- $117.5 million to Florida’s child welfare system
- $18.9 million for Florida’s historically Black colleges and universities
Check back for updates on this developing story.