DeSantis slashes $1 billion in spending from state budget due to coronavirus
TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed $1 billion in spending Monday from the $93.2 billion state budget crafted by his fellow Republican leaders in the Florida Legislature before the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic had emerged.
DeSantis said he had “threaded the needle,” in preserving some top big-ticket proposals, including pay raises for teachers and state workers and more than $625 million in water projects.
The now $92.2 billion budget is set to take effect Wednesday.
“We had big achievements and big gains,” DeSantis said. “At the same time, the budget was coming due, we started to see the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which has changed the trajectory of the nation’s economy and, obviously, the economy here in Florida.”
Among the cuts is $225 million in state funding for affordable housing, which DeSantis said will be offset by $250 million in federal money for rental and mortgage assistance just directed to Florida under CARES act funding.
Another $20 million was vetoed from the Florida Job Growth Grant fund, a favorite of DeSantis who said that scores of his own priorities had to be sacrificed to help bring the budget into balance.
This story originally published to heraldtribune.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the USA TODAY Network - Florida.