Everything you need to know about Ron DeSantis
(CNN)–Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has made headlines by signing a monumental $117 billion budget for his state. The budget reflects his priorities and has already become a talking point in his potential presidential campaign.
Funding for Priorities
The budget includes several noteworthy allocations, such as $12 million for continued transportation of migrants from border states to Democratic jurisdictions. Additionally, $25 million has been set aside to transform New College into a conservative public college. The budget also provides tax breaks for child care products and expands school choice, allowing Florida students to attend taxpayer-funded private schools.
A Historic Budget
This budget is the largest in Florida’s history, surpassing the previous record set by former Governor Rick Scott. DeSantis has not been frugal in shaping the state according to his vision, with the governor’s office budget seeing an eightfold increase under his leadership.
During the budget signing ceremony, DeSantis emphasized the importance of responsible tax administration and strategic spending that positively impacts the general public.
The specifics of DeSantis’ vetoes, which could lower the top-line number of the budget, were not released at the time of signing. In the past, his vetoes have resulted in significant reductions of spending.
Florida’s booming tourism industry and a strong economy have contributed to the state’s substantial sales tax revenue. Additionally, the federal government’s financial support, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, has provided Florida with a significant influx of funds to invest in its recovery and infrastructure.
A Conservative Agenda
DeSantis has used the state’s prosperity to fund his conservative agenda. Despite criticizing President Joe Biden’s stimulus package, DeSantis has not shied away from accepting federal funds. He has allocated billions to local projects and implemented tax cuts while challenging Washington’s spending practices.
Financial Dependence on the Federal Government
Contrary to his criticism, DeSantis heavily relies on federal funding. He has justified his spending by citing Florida’s economic growth and highlighting his commitment to fiscal conservatism.
A Vision for Florida’s Future
DeSantis has leveraged his executive power to shape Florida according to his conservative vision. The budget signing in 2021 marked a significant milestone as it exceeded $100 billion in planned spending for the first time. Since then, the budget has continued to grow.
Investing in Education and Defense
The signed budget allocates more than $100 million to enhance the state guard, invests $30 million in the University of Florida’s Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic Education, and provides funds for legal costs related to the governor’s agenda. Additionally, a tax break on sales of gas stoves has been introduced in response to environmental concerns raised by conservatives.
A Difference of Opinion
DeSantis has not always seen eye-to-eye with his Republican predecessor, Rick Scott, who urged governors to return federal bailout money. DeSantis believes that the funds would be allocated to other states if returned.