Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs $92.2 billion budget

Coronavirus cost state more than $1B in expected revenue
Gov. Ron DeSantis
Posted at 12:22 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 14:36:49-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference in Tallahassee Monday afternoon to announce the signing of the next fiscal year's budget.

DeSantis began speaking shortly after 1 p.m. after signing a $92.2 billion budget at the Florida Capitol and making $1 billion in vetoes.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Cornonavirus | Rebound South Florida

"This budget reflects a steadfast commitment to Floridians by safeguarding important investments in key areas including education, the environment, infrastructure, public safety and more," DeSantis said.

The governor said his "goal was try to safeguard the historic achievements that we were able to do, while also realizing historic savings, so we could put Florida on a more solid fiscal foundation."

Among the cuts he outlined included $550 million from his own budget plan, including $20 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund.

"As the reality changes, I think we all have to recognize that none of us are going to get everything we want," said DeSantis.

DeSantis highlighted that the state's budget includes $500 million to increase the minimum teacher salary and an additional $100 million for salary increases for more experienced teachers.

The budget includes investments in Florida's environment and water quality and provides more than $625 million for Everglades restoration and water resources.

"Nobody has ever made more vetoes than I did right here," said DeSantis. "I'm convinced we'll be able to weather the storm."

Florida was forced to spend millions of dollars this year to fight the coronavirus pandemic, causing revenue shortfalls because of reduced sales tax collections and tourism revenue.

DeSantis said $8 million appropriated for Alyssa's Law was approved, paving the way for a digital panic alarm system to be installed in Florida's public schools. This will also allow teachers to have a fast connection to first responders in emergencies.

New numbers released Friday show the economic shutdown because of the coronavirus cost Florida more than a billion in expected revenue to date.

The governor said Monday that Florida still has $6.3 billion in total reserves that can be used if the state needs to absorb revenue losses. This money doesn't include federal money from the CARES Act.

Florida's coronavirus cases increased by 5,226 on Monday with 28 more deaths reported.

Coronavirus cases have surged in Florida this month, but DeSantis has reiterated that more testing has led to the jump in positive cases.

Click here for more budget highlights.

Below are some of the local projected vetoed by DeSantis in the budget:

  • Boca Raton 20-inch Critical Wastewater Force Main Resiliency Project Replacement/Redundancy (HB 2451) (Senate Form 1488)
  • Town of Loxahatchee Groves Southern D Road Improvements (HB 4099) (Senate Form 2247)
  • Loxahatchee Groves North Road Equestrian/MuIti-Use Trail (HB 4095) (Senate Form 2246)
  • Boynton Beach Town Square Enhanced Pedestrian Crossing (HB 2495) (Senate Form 1547)
  • Greenacres Swain Blvd Sewer Extension (HB 3663) (Senate Form 1244)
  • City of Riviera Beach Youth Empowerment Program (HB 4639) (Senate Form 1792)
  • Riviera Beach Early Learning to Kindergarten Project (HB 4633) (Senate Form 1622)
  • Jupiter Pennock Industrial Park Stormwater Improvements (HB 2129)
  • Jupiter Seminole Avenue Stormwater Basin Improvements (HB 2133)
  • Jupiter Sims Creek Preserve Hydrologic Restoration (HB 2131)
  • Indian River State College - Replace Facility 8 Industrial Tech – Main
  • Hegener Drive Extension - Port St. Lucie (HB 4981) (Senate Form 2273)

Below is a list of the $1 billion in vetoes by the governor: