As the year comes to a close, many Republicans view 2021 as a monumental success for Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL). Now, DeSantis has officially released his "Freedom First Budget" for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The new policy also will allow Floridians to pay less for gas.
This proposal totals almost $100 billion, and total reserves exceed $15 billion. The funds focus on "preserving freedom and prosperity for Floridians with record funding for education, environmental resources, and law enforcement."
The DeSantis administration has also made a point to once again reject mandates and lockdowns related to COVID-19. Reportedly, "The budget also protects freedom and liberty by once again rejecting mandates and lockdowns."
“In Florida, we have put Freedom First – protecting Floridians’ freedom to earn a living, to operate businesses and to choose educational options tailored for their children,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “As a result of our commitment to freedom, Florida’s economy continues to thrive and Floridians are better able to provide for their families. Today, I am proud to announce my budget proposals 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.”
The Freedom First Budget also has compensated for the rising gas prices, often credited to President Joe Biden (D). In 2022 Floridians will see a Fuel Tax Holiday, which will save Florida families $1 billion.
The budgetary proposal also seeks to maintain Florida's exemplary crime record, hopefully giving the Sunshine State its 50th consecutive year with a drop in the crime rate. Law enforcement across Florida will see a dramatic increase in funding, with $226.7 million towards increasing salaries.
There will also be a new implementation of a law enforcement academy scholarship program to bring down the cost of enrollment for men and women seeking to join the police force in Florida.
Governor DeSantis also hopes to satisfy concerns of his more Liberal constituents as well, with funding going towards environmental preservation.
- More than $660 million for Everglades restoration.
- $195 million for targeted water quality improvements.
- $35 million to improve water quality and combat the negative impacts of harmful algal blooms, including blue-green algae.
- This includes $5 million in additional funding dedicated to address red tide cleanup.
The healthcare industry will also not be ignored under the new budget, with $200 million being given to direct care workers for the purposes of pay raises. Contrary to what opponents of the budget will tell you, Governor DeSantis covers all the diverse issues that have plagued Floridians of all kinds.