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DeSantis Signs State Budget, Vetoes Half a Billion in Spending

DeSantis called Florida’s budget the “capstone” of a highly successful legislative session as he signed the appropriations into law.

FORT PIERCE, FLORIDA — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s “Framework for Freedom” budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year at a news conference in Fort Pierce.

“We’ve done more in the last six to eight months since the election than any – I think – state has done in our lifetime to move the ball forward and be bold and take on these issues, and that’s one of the reasons why people, you know, keep flooding down here,” DeSantis said, referring to people leaving other states to move to Florida.

DeSantis went through crucial aspects of the budget, recapping some of the critical items that made it into the final plan.

But he also line-item vetoed more than half a billion in spending. The budget passed by the Legislature was $117 billion. In comparison, the original proposed budget by DeSantis was $114.8 billion.

On tax relief, DeSantis reminded Floridians of the “Freedom Summer” sales tax holiday that began in May. He also emphasized sales tax exemptions on baby and toddler items which start July 1, toll rebates and two hurricane-preparedness sales tax holidays that he says will save Floridians $144 million.

“We also in the budget include $130 million for targeted pay increases for people in state law enforcement and public safety agencies,” DeSantis said. “Different parts of the country have slashed police spending, attacked law enforcement – we’ve consistently in Florida stood by people in law enforcement, not only with good policy but also with good compensation.”

Lawmakers set K-12 funding at a record $26.8 billion, allocated $635 million toward workforce education programs and provided $1.1 billion in raises for teachers – money DeSantis said he didn’t want “going to bureaucracy or to unions.”

Mitigation response and recovery efforts total $2.3 billion in the budget, which includes funding to continue to cover costs associated with Hurricane Ian. But the governor also said the state had set aside $500 million for the state’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund to allow the state to respond quickly and cut through red tape as he did last year.

See the final veto list and the Governor’s transmittal letter below: