Florida Gov. DeSantis announces another round of $1K bonuses for police, first responders

Law enforcement received 1st round of bonuses last year

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference in Ponte Vedra Beach on Thursday, March 31, 2022. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced another round of $1,000 bonuses Thursday for sworn police officers, firefighters and EMTs in Florida, as included in the state budget.

The governor held two news conferences — one in Ponte Vedra Beach and the other in West Palm Beach — to announce the financial boost, which would go out in the “not too distant future.” Last year, DeSantis issued a $1,000 bonus for Florida first responders to show support following a difficult year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and protests.

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I thought we needed to do it again. Partially to continue to show our support, but partially as a recognition,” DeSantis said during Thursday’s second news conference. “You know, we have the worst inflation that this country has seen in four decades. And the people that that impacts are a lot of the vital members of our community, our teachers, our police officers, our firefighters, you know, they need to be able to afford groceries and housing and all these things that are coming under such a crunch.”

DeSantis said in addition to these bonuses, Florida is seeking to create additional incentives for recruitment with HB-3.

“We want to create things like ability to get scholarships to go to law enforcement training or police academy. There’s going to be benefits in that bill that are going to let police officers, the sons and daughters of police officers, be eligible for our school choice programs and have scholarships to be able to go to different schools just like a lot of our low income families have been able to do,” he said.

Part of the $112.1 billion state budget that was approved earlier this month included a boost to the minimum salary for state law enforcement officers to $50,000.

DeSantis’ signature Monday on the controversial “Parental Rights in Education” bill prompted a combative response from Disney, escalating Florida Republicans’ feud with the corporation to the point that talks have allegedly been held to discuss repealing the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act.

Toward the end of one of his news conferences Thursday, the governor said a potential repeal of the act would not be made purely in retaliation over Disney’s behavior but could instead be part of a larger effort to strip the corporation of what he called “special privileges.”


About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.