Vetoed: $3.3M for South Florida State Hospital

Tampa DeSantis
DeSantis signed the state's $91 billion budget Friday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he was vetoing more than $3.3 million allocated to South Florida State Hospital Friday, as he officially signed the state’s $91.1 billion budget.

The cuts to the mental health facility in Pembroke Pines were among the largest announced Friday. DeSantis’ line item vetoes shaved $131 million off the total budget. But several South Florida programs did end up on the chopping block.

The $500,000 allotted for a trade and logistics program at St. Thomas University also got cut, as did $50,000 for the Single Stop program at Miami Dade College.

Several South Florida cities were also impacted by DeSantis’ veto pen. The city of Hialeah Gardens lost out on $550,000 for a therapy pool for the physically challenged. DeSantis cut another $500,000 in funding for Pembroke Pines Fire Station 69.

Funding for SMART Tamarac, a public safety fiber-optic network, was also cut to the tune of $450,000. Another $255,200 allocated for crime prevention technologies in Opa-locka was also axed.

A pair of million dollar programs were also vetoed by the Governor. One would have given money for a Coral Gables public safety building. Another million would have gone to the adult day care program at Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Center.

The South Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center saw another $783,000 cut as well. Easter Seals of South Florida, in Kendall, lost out on $650,000. The Marine Research Hub of South Florida saw another $500,000 cut.

DeSantis explained his rationale for some of the local cuts at a news conference at the Capitol.

“There were some local things in there, like, do you want to refurbish a municipal emergency operations center? To me, that’s more of a county function,” DeSantis said.

“And so, if I (fund) one in this county, then do I’ve got to do all of them? So when I looked at local projects, I wanted to see, is there a real connection to an overall state policy.”

DeSantis added that he didn’t feel a need to chop up too much of the first budget presented to him during his tenure as Governor.

“I think it was a successful budget,” DeSantis said.

“It’s a fiscally responsible budget. We put taxpayers first. But the things that Floridians care about, education, the environment and transportation, we were there for that.”

A round up of some of the other cuts targeted at South Florida:

— Miami Children’s Museum Professional Development School: $350,000

— North Miami Beach Snake Creek Canal Park: $200,00

— City of Hollywood Disaster Recovery Center Generator: $150,000

— Miami Bridge — Host Homes for Youth: $150,000

— City of West Palm Beach — Incident Command Vehicle: $150,000

— Miami International Agriculture, Horse, and Cattle Show: $98,850

— North Miami Beach Police Athletic League STEM/Robotics Leadership Academy: $75,000

The 2019-20 budget goes into effect July 1, the start of the state’s 2019-20 fiscal year.

In a news release issued after signing the budget, DeSantis singled out record funding for environmental projects as well as $220 million to toward the Hurricane Michael recovery effort — the two issues his administration prioritized the most during his first Legislative Session on the job.

“When I took office, I wanted to ensure that we would present a bold budget to Floridians that is both aspirational and attainable,” he said. “I am pleased that we have accomplished this goal with the Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget that includes the highest level of per student spending ever, record investments in our Everglades and water resources, and much needed funding for hurricane recovery, mental health, opioid abuse, public safety, and transportation and infrastructure.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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