Florida state

DeSantis unveils Florida state budget with bonuses for teachers and police

TALLAHASSEE – Bolstered by booming tax revenues and billions of dollars in federal cash, Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday unveiled a $ 99.7 billion budget that includes $ 1,000 in bonuses for teachers and police and the suspension of gasoline taxes for several months next year.

Calling it the “freedom first budget” to echo DeSantis’ political slogan, its proposed budget includes nearly $ 1 billion for the environment and no tuition hikes for colleges and universities. State.

“Florida clicks on all cylinders when it comes to the economy,” DeSantis said.

In recent months, he has gradually unveiled his proposals for the 2022-2023 state budget, which must be approved by state lawmakers when they resume in Tallahassee in January.

His ideas included suspending a billion dollar gasoline tax collection next year, which would save motorists a few bucks when they refuel their tanks for a few months of the year. next.

Last week, he unveiled a plan to spend $ 276 million on 76 projects to help the state adapt to climate change. The money would help build storm water pumps and living shorelines to withstand storm surges, as well as lay utility cables underground and important storm-proof facilities such as fire stations. , sewage treatment centers and libraries throughout the state.

DeSantis ‘budget and state economy have enjoyed a rapid rebound, attributed to DeSantis’ decision to quickly reopen state and federal programs proposed by President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Florida’s tax revenue has rebounded sharply from the pandemic and has consistently exceeded expectations. In October, the state generated $ 435.5 million in general revenue more than forecast in August forecast. About 70 percent of this came from sales taxes.

State economists have credited advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, which is part of the recent congressional stimulus package, as well as Floridians dipping into their savings, for October earnings.

The state government’s current budget was approved in June and reached a record $ 100 billion.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.