On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) offered a $99.7 billion 2022 state budget proposal called the Freedom First budget. In it, the budget aims to cut rising gas prices, calls for shorter prison guard shifts among other concerns, but Florida Democrats are rallying against the bill, arguing that it’s “not enough.”
Shortly after Governor DeSantis announced the budget proposal, a number of Florida Democrats joined forces to criticize the budget.
Florida Reps. Angie Nixon (D), Michele Rayner (D), Carlos Guillermo Smith (D) and Anna V. Eskamani (D) all responded by saying that the Governor was not proposing enough to answer pressing concerns regarding public education, affordable housing, social services and other political matters.
“The Governor’s budget proposes a few longstanding Democratic demands, but it’s not enough,” declared Rep. Nixon.
Rep. Guillermo Smith took issue with Governor DeSantis’ priorities in proposing the budget, saying that “the Governor spent a lot of time this week during a public event where he griped and complained and cried about how he was a champion for workers because he was going to stand up to private employers who were still requiring those workers to wear a mask when they sign into their shift, particularly those in the hospitality industry.”
Arguing that “Floridians don’t care about working all day with a mask on,” the Florida lawmaker added that Floridians instead “care about working all day and still not being able to find affordable housing, health care, and basic necessities.”
“They want him to put together a budget that stands up for working people, expands Medicaid and health care, and also creates robust affordable housing opportunities so they can continue to have the freedom to be safe, healthy and prosperous.”
In proposing the state budget, Governor DeSantis called it a budget "that will build on our foundation of freedom by investing in priorities that matter to our residents. This budget puts Floridians and their freedoms first, keeps taxes low, and addresses key priorities – all while maintaining record budget reserves.”