Wednesday, December 06, 2023

ANNALS OF DeSANTISTAN: DeSantis wants the state to spend less next year; plus spend $1 million for FSU’s bowl game snub. (Florida Phoenix, Michael Moline)

Pity poor DeSANTIS, our former Congressman from St. Johns County, our bumptious bully of a boisterous loudmouth louche Boy Governor.  He craves attention.  Spending a million dollars to "remedy" FSU being rejected from a football bowl game? Are you kidding me?  From Florida Phoenix:

DeSantis wants the state to spend less next year; plus spend $1 million for FSU’s bowl game snub

Spending would shrink to $114.4 billion in fiscal 2024-25

BY:  - DECEMBER 5, 2023 1:46 PM

 Gov. Ron DeSantis releases his proposed state budget for 2024-25 on Dec. 5, 2023, in Marco Island. Source: Screenshot/Florida Channel

Florida’s government will shrink by nearly $3 billion during the fiscal year that begins on July 1, but the $114.4 billion state budget that Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed Tuesday will find room for $1 million to cover any litigation arising from Florida State University’s College Football Playoff snub.

“I don’t know what all goes into that decision making; I know a lot of people have been disappointed. I know the school and the [universities’] Board of Governors are looking to see is there anything that can be done. I don’t think there would anything where they can get relief prior to the tournament,” the governor said during a press conference.

“What we’ve decided to do is set aside a million dollars for any litigation expenses that may come as a result of this very, very poor decision by the college football playoffs to exclude an undefeated team that won a big Power Five conference championship,” he said.

There was broad outrage over the playoff committee’s decision to admit the University of Alabama into the four-team tournament rather than undefeated FSU. Alabama suffered one loss.

DeSantis noted that he graduated from Yale University (where he played intercollegiate baseball) but was raising his children in Tallahassee and that they “are all ’Noles. And they are big time fans and they do the tomahawk chop and they were not happy on Sunday when Florida State was left out.”


The governor released his proposed spending plan at a public charter school in Marco Island during an event that featured many of the talking points he’s used during his run for the Republican presidential nomination, including criticism of President Joe Biden’s economic and border policies and Blue State governors like California’s Gavin Newsom, with whom he debated on Fox News last week.

DeSantis will take the stage again Wednesday evening in Tuskaloosa, Alabama, in the fourth GOP presidential debate.

The Legislature will write its own budget during its regular session beginning in January, although the governor’s plan could shape lawmakers’ thinking on state spending.

The governor noted Tuesday that, under his budget, overall spending would be less than for the 2022-23 fiscal year. “And yet, we’re going to be making key investments in things that really matter like education and infrastructure and transportation,” he said.

The budget would include $16.3 million in contingency reserves, possibly more if the state economy remains strong, DeSantis said. He plans to spend $455 million for accelerated repayment of Florida’s $15 billion in debt.

State government would lose more than 1,000 job positions, a move DeSantis said would “help us realign resources and focus on efficiency.”

Florida already has one of the most modest public sectors in the country with 84 public employees as of 2021 compared to a national average of 208, according to a report by the Tallahassee Democrat. Many positions that do exist haven’t been filled, with 28 of 29 agencies reporting vacancies, the Tampa Bay Times reported in June.

Tax cuts

DeSantis’ proposed budget contains $1.1 billion in tax cuts, including continuation of existing breaks on sales of disaster-preparedness and summer-recreation items and tools for professionals or amateur craftspeople. Sales tax exemptions for baby needs and over-the-counter pet medications would be made permanent.

There’d be a one-year exemption on taxes on insurance premiums for homes worth up to $750,000, saving around $5,000 per ratepayer, according to DeSantis, totaling $409 million. There’s another $107 million to help homeowners harden their property against disaster.

The budget would provide $27.8 billion for K–12 public schools, which DeSantis said represents $8,842 per student, an increase of $175 over the current fiscal year, according to the budget documents posted Tuesday.

There’s $1.25 billion to raise teacher pay, $290 for school security.

The Florida Department of Transportation would get $14.5 billion for roads and other infrastructure.

There’s $20 million to continue DeSantis’ $5,000 signing bonuses for people joining law enforcement agencies from within Florida or as newcomers from other states, part of the governor’s “law and order” emphasis.

The budget provides $10 million for security at Jewish day schools and $1.35 million for the Florida Holocaust Museum.

Colleges and universities

There’s a combined $5.4 billion for the State College System and State University System, including $150 million for faculty recruitment and retention. Tuition would remain at its existing level.

DeSantis touted his program to restrict tenure protections and eliminate diversity, equity, and inclusion programs on campus, blaming “indoctrination” through such measures for reported activism by Palestinian students that he said has verged into antisemitism; he did not mention attacks on Palestinians in the United States.

“I’ll cancel their visa, I’ll send them home,” DeSantis said of Palestinian students. “I don’t want them coming here; we should be putting Americans in those slots.”

He waived aside reports that professors are fleeing the state. “If you have Marxist professors leaving, that is a gain for the state of Florida. That’s not a negative,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis wants to spend $1.1 billion next fiscal year for Everglades protection, bringing total spending to $2.8 billion thus far during his second term on top of $3.3 billion during his first term. He’d spend $330 million on water quality, including expansion of cesspool to sewer expansion.

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Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal.

1 comment:

Edzilla said...

They don't believe in the public sector or government jobs, and if people can't afford services, healthcare, insurance, housing, you name it, they shouldn't have it. Social needs don't exist in the minds of these people. It's every man for himself. You would expect someone in a leadership position or in government to feel differently about this but in this case that's exactly who is driving it. These people are unfit for office.