Gov. Ron DeSantis said he isn’t in a rush to review the $93.2 billion budget or nearly 200 other bills recently approved by the Legislature as he focuses on the fight against COVID-19.
DeSantis also told reporters Wednesday that the state might not have to dip deep into its nearly $4 billion in reserves with President Donald Trump declaring earlier in the day that a major disaster exists in Florida.
“I’m just going to let the budget sit for now. I’m not going to start vetoing everything, and I’m not going to sign it yet,” DeSantis said. “Let’s see where we are, and let’s kind of see how the situation unfolds. This is a constant thing where you are reassessing everything you know.”
Trump’s declaration makes federal funding available to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts. DeSantis said the state could also benefit from a federal stimulus package. But questions center on how long state sales-tax revenues will slump with businesses, including the vital tourism industry, on hold.
“The hit to the budget will just simply be an effect of what happens with the economy,” DeSantis said. “How does this thing turn? When does it turn? So, we are going to monitor that and see how the next few weeks turn out. Then we’ll make a decision on that.”
The budget and 196 other measures technically haven’t been sent to the governor’s office. When DeSantis receives bills, he has 15 days to sign, veto or allow them to become law without his signature.
He also has line-item veto power on the budget.
DeSantis’ comments Wednesday echoed statements this week by House and Senate officials, who said the chambers are working to pace the delivery of the bills around the state’s response to the highly contagious and deadly disease.
Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.