Florida Governor Ron DeSantis outlined some of his budget recommendations on Tuesday and he included a one-time, $1,000 bonus for first responders.
“Those lockdowns have not worked, they’ve done great damage to our country. We can never let this happen again,” Governor DeSantis started off his news conference discussing the pandemic and how states have reacted. “Florida took a different path, we’ve had more success as a result. And you see that in the unemployment figures. We’re at 4.8 percent. You have a lot of these lockdown states that are at eight or nine percent.”
“The policies have not been effective. Florida’s policies have been more effective,” he added. However, despite this, the Governor claimed that the Sunshine State is getting less money because unemployment is lower and states with lockdowns have higher unemployment. “I don’t think that’s fair.”
However, he did acknowledge that he is unsure how much money the state will get. He believes it will be between $9 to $10 billion.
Governor DeSantis said that he is going to send a letter to the Speaker and Senate President outlining his recommendations for how state funds should be used with this most recent stimulus from the federal government. It will only cover about $4.1 billion worth.
The first recommendation he outlined was a one-time, $1,000 bonus for first responders.
“We know that the pandemic put an awful lot of strain on our first responders — EMTs, sworn law enforcement, firefighters — so, we believe we should recognize their sacrifice over the last year. I’m proposing a one-time, $1,000 bonus payment to all first responders.”
He added that “we want to fund this in this current fiscal year so we can get those payments out as quickly as possible.”
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That will total about $280.4 million of the budget.
Among Governor DeSantis’ other recommendations are:
– $73.2 million to modernize the CONNECT Reemployment Assistance system
– $56.6 million to support the operations of the Reemployment Assistance program to accommodate increased volume and the adjudication of claims
– $72 million for behavioral health management
– $260 million in relief for seaports
– $50 million for a road fund
– $1 billion for the Resilient Florida Grant program
– $50 million for job growth grants
– $42 million for national guard
– $1 billion for new emergency management response fund
– $938 million to restore DOT work program
– $60 million for workforce development programs
– $125 million for employee training