Florida ready to withstand financial blow of coronavirus, DeSantis says

Lawmakers set aside funding during coronavirus crisis
Posted at 2:01 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 14:59:37-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida is financially prepared to withstand the blow of the coronavirus.

"We already see that this is going to cause economic dislocations," DeSantis said after Thursday's budget vote.

But Florida lawmakers have earmarked about $300 million to offset the financial setbacks.

"We entered this session with unemployment going down, down, down to 2.8%, and now we're going to be exiting this on the back end of this COVID(-19) looking at a different economic picture," DeSantis said. "I think it's one we can recover from, don't get me wrong, but that is going to be an issue that we'll have to address in future sessions."

DeSantis also applauded the legislature for working to find more funding for water quality and Everglades projects. He also said the new budget should propel Florida into one of the top five states for teacher salaries in the country.

In the meantime, though, it remains to be seen how long the coronavirus pandemic will impact Florida's tourism and workforce.

"There's going to be Florida businesses that are going to take it on the chin, because we're so sensitive to things like tourism, but once this passes, and it will pass, I think we'll be able to pick back up and start going," he said.