Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) announced his “Florida Leads” budget proposal for the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year, which includes fiscal responsibility, taxpayer savings, education, the environment, economic development, health and human services, public safety, transportation and infrastructure, supporting the military and their families and cybersecurity.
In recent weeks, climate change and the environment have received widespread media coverage as President Joe Biden (D) has announced swift measures he’s taking to combat growing concerns. Since taking office, Governor DeSantis has also placed the environment as a key point of his plan, and he announced that “the protection of Florida’s vital water resources is one of the most pressing issues facing our state.”
When he took office, “the Governor called for $2.5 billion to be invested in Everglades restoration and Florida’s water resources over four years.” So far, Florida has “invested over $1.25 billion over the past two years.
In his plan, “the budget continues that commitment by allocating more than $625 million for these causes,” which “includes over $473 million for Everglades restoration, $50 million for Springs restoration, $145 million for targeted water quality improvements, $40 million for alternative water supply and $25 million to combat harmful algal blooms and red tide.”
On education, the Governor announced his “budget builds on the Governor’s success to secure pay raises for Florida’s teacher’s by including $550 million, an increase of $50 million, to continue raising the minimum K-12 teacher salary to $47,500, as well as the salaries of other instruction personnel.”
Finally, as the state continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic, DeSantis assured that “Florida’s economic recovery is well underway.”
He detailed that “the budget includes $50 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund to support local infrastructure and job training projects targeted towards economic recovery and development,” and “included is $5 million for Enterprise Florida, Inc. to engage in targeted campaigns that market the opportunities available in Florida for businesses to realize economic and job growth in the state.”