TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. DeSantis crowed about the $109.9 billion Florida budget he signed in The Villages Thursday — and also the $3.1 billion he axed from that budget.
“So we exercise that power very robustly in this budget, not because the legislature is necessarily putting pork—there was some pork—but I think it was just because, you know, we don’t want to be in a situation where we’re repeating the mistakes of Washington by overspending,” DeSantis said Thursday.
While state law puts the Florida Legislature in charge of the budget, the governor can use his line-item veto power to remove items from that budget.
The governor said the $3.1 billion he vetoed was a record for himself and for Florida. It included education projects, health care projects, law enforcement projects, local projects like firehouses and drainage projects, money for environmental research, money to build a new state prison, and $5.6 million to hire new positions within the Florida Department of Agriculture to process concealed weapon licenses.
Central Florida was not spared from DeSantis’ red pen.
The largest expenditure cut from the budget was the $15 million set aside for the Poinciana Parkway extension project, which the Florida Turnpike Enterprise is looking at to connect Osceola Polk Line Road (State Road 352) from Interstate 4 up to State Road 429 and to potentially alleviate traffic in the area.
Other Central Florida items vetoed from the budget by the governor included:
- $8,037,266 for an Emerging Media and Fine Arts Center at Lake-Sumter State College
- $6.5 million for the Flagler County Agricultural Museum
- $2 million for Lake County Agricultural Education and Expo
- $1,992,000 for a Lower Floridan Aquifer conversion project in Ocala.
- $1.75 million for an emergency operations center for the city of Belle Isle
- $1.5 million for IDignity Statewide Operational Headquarters in Orlando
- $1.5 million for a parking facility for the city of Sanford
- $1 million for a Valencia College documentary on the 1920 Election Day riots in Ocoee
- $1 million for building improvements at the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet
- $1 million for the rebuild of Clermont Fire Station 102
- $1 million for the construction of a fire station in Longwood
- $1 million for implementation of phase one of Chisholm Park in St. Cloud
- $850,000 for reclaimed water projects in Ormond Beach
- $750,000 for indigent care at Leesburg Hospital
- $675,000 for expansion of the military history museum in Osceola County
- $545,000 for a navigation hazard dredging project for Spruce Creek in Volusia County
- $500,000 grant to the Zebra Coalition for a youth transitional housing project in Orlando
- $500,000 for maintenance of the struggling Little Wekiva River in Seminole County
- $500,000 for Mount Dora Fire Station 34/Emergency Operations Center
- $500,000 for Orange City Emergency Response Fire Station
- $447,123 for a pharmacy technician vocational program at Daytona State College
- $400,000 for a restoration and water quality study for North Lake Toho in Osceola County
- $400,000 for a security and protection project for Shingle Creek Regional Trail in Kissimmee
- $400,000 for Palm Bay Fire and Rescue Station No. 7
- $375,000 agribusiness technology at the College of Central Florida
- $300,000 for Winter Park Fire Station 62
- $288,982 for generator equipment at Clermont fire stations
- $250,000 for Daytona Beach Reuse Pump Station No. 90
- $236,641 for the Groveland Historic Train Station
You can see the full veto list on the Florida governor’s website.