TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Government Ron DeSantis signed a state budget of $ 92.2 billion on Monday, but not before declining a record $ 1 billion in spending during a pandemic that hit the Florida economy.
What you need to know
- Governor also orders government agencies to cut spending by 6%
- Relocations that are expected to leave the state with $ 6.3 billion in reserves
- State Democrats predicted that rising COVID case numbers would lead to greater economic turmoil
- More stories from the Florida government
State revenues plummeted by nearly $ 900 million in April and $ 1.4 billion in May, prompting the governor to strengthen state reserves by dropping projects approved by lawmakers three months ago before the corona virus crisis began.
“My goal was to try to secure the historic achievements we could achieve while achieving historic savings, so we could give Florida a firmer fiscal foundation,” DeSantis told reporters at an afternoon press conference at the State Capitol.
Among the canceled credits are $ 21 million for a new courthouse in Pinellas County and $ 15 million for ‘Universities of Distinction’ including the University of Central Florida. And as protests rage against viruses and racial justice, the governor vetoed $ 28 million for infectious disease treatment and $ 150,000 for The Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys.
DeSantis cast out every veto as a sacrifice brought about by extraordinary circumstances.
“We always knew we could experience an economic downturn, but I don’t think we necessarily predicted the economy to stop for a while,” he said. “So we operated under a certain set of assumptions. The legislature was, too. If reality changes, I think we should all recognize that none of us get everything we want. “
He also said he ordered government agencies to cut spending by six percent to save another $ 750 million. Combined with the vetoes and federal CARES act funding, the actions were expected to leave the state with $ 6.3 billion in reserve funding to help weather the crisis.
But if monthly revenues continue to drop in dazzling amounts and cast doubt on the power of the rainy day fund, state law would require DeSantis and the legislator to take additional measures to address Florida’s tax base.
At a news conference late Monday, members of the Florida Senate Democratic caucus predicted that rising daily coronavirus numbers would lead to even greater economic upheaval.
“Most of us on this call believe that we are likely to end in a special session around the time of our org session to address further budgetary constraints because I don’t know we can wait until March next year to start address these issues, “said Senator Gary Farmer (D-Lighthouse Point), the incoming Senate minority leader.