FL state budget now in DeSantis’ hands; he promises some vetoes

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American dollars. Credit: WIkimedia Commons

The Legislature sent Gov. Ron DeSantis its $91.1 billion state budget Friday for the fiscal year beginning July 1. He has until June 29 to sign the spending plan into law, although his staff has already been reviewing the document.

DeSantis has said he plans to sign it next week.

The governor has guaranteed he’ll veto line items for House and Senate members’ hometown projects unless they serve an overriding state purpose.

Florida TaxWatch, a nonpartisan watchdog organization, has identified $133 million in what it calls “budget turkeys” – defined as projects that lacked adequate review or otherwise violated established budget procedures. The turkeys included 67 transportation projects.

The Florida Phoenix, meanwhile, has identified at least 625 local projects in the final state budget, worth nearly $450 million.

The state budget establishes spending priorities and allocates money for everything from public schools and colleges and universities to tourism and business development projects, transportation and the environment.

Lawmakers gave DeSantis only $33 million of the $100 million he sought for the Florida Forever environmental land-buying program but $682 million overall for the environment.

The governor said Thursday that he’ll approve a $500,000 line item in next fiscal year’s state budget toward a memorial to the 2016 Pulse tragedy.

Michael Moline
Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.

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