Mar 18, 2021 - News
Ron DeSantis' stimulus spending plans for Florida
Illustration of a pelican with stacks of cash in his mouth.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled plans for spending $4.1 billion of Florida's roughly $17 billion from President Biden's stimulus.

One of his priorities is the "support and celebration of pandemic first responders," a one-time $1,000 direct payment — totaling $208.4 million — to sworn law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics and emergency technicians.

Another big target: DeSantis wants to spend $1 billion to address sea-level rise over a four-year period. That's on top of state funds already earmarked for "resiliency" projects.

“That’s a pretty significant amount of money to be able to address a lot of infrastructure needs as it relates to things like flooding and sea level rise. So, we think it’s a good opportunity to be able to make even more headway and we’re taking advantage of that.”

A non-exhaustive list of other proposals includes:

  • $258 million for seaports.
  • $150 million for Florida’s Job Growth Grant Fund.
  • $129 million for a modernized re-employment assistance system.
  • $73 million to fix the state's online unemployment system.
  • $72 million for the behavioral health system.
  • $41.7 million to help the Florida National Guard recruit up to 450 additional service members.
  • $10 million for Alzheimer’s disease research.

This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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