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Gov. DeSantis cuts $1 billion from state budget

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 3:52 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) - Governor Ron Desantis has vetoed more than 600 specific appropriations from the state budget that takes effect Wednesday.

Just over $1 billion was cut from the $93.3 billion plan crafted by lawmakers, but it could have been worse.

State employees will see their first pay raise in six years. Correctional officers will see an even bigger bump. And teachers will get to keep the $500 million raise the governor promised.

“We wanted to take Florida from the bottom half of the country in average teacher minimum salary to the top five,” said DeSantis.

K-12 per-pupil spending is up by $137 per student.

Colleges and universities will see increases as well.

“And we did not increase tuition,” said DeSantis.

Historic funding for the Everglades and water projects continue.

“And this is two years in a row that the Legislature has stepped up and put their money into these key initiatives,” said DeSantis.

In all, more than 600 different items were vetoed.

Big-ticket items include $41 million to train non-sworn school guardians.

The Governor even vetoed his own job growth fund.

“So the one billion [dollars] in vetoes, over $550 million are vetoes that I included in my governor’s recommendations in the fall,” said DeSantis.

Except for governors vetoing an entire budget to make a point, these vetos are record-setting.

We asked why he didn’t veto more.

“We have different reserves and we also have Federal Cares act dollars, so, I’m convinced we’ll be able to weather the storm and do it right,” said DeSantis.

And state reserves do remain strong, totaling $6.3 billion.

And while the vetoes included everything from a $20 million dollar courthouse to millions for other new buildings, the average of the 612 vetos was just over $1.6 million.

Copyright 2020 Capitol News Service. All rights reserved.