Ron DeSantis doesn’t want state bailouts for problems predating pandemic

But if federal governments make states whole, he wants Florida included.

Gov. Ron DeSantis doesn’t want other states to have obligations bailed out that predate the COVID-19 pandemic. But if the federal government crafts a rescue package, Florida would appreciate being included.

“It’s one thing to help a state with lost revenue from the pandemic,” DeSantis told host Maria Bartiromo. “But this pandemic should not be used to bail out obligations that were run up over 20 or 30 years. I think that would be very unfair to the states that have done it well.”

The Republican governor made that clear during a Fox News interview Sunday morning. On “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo,” he discussed how Florida has contained the pandemic thus far.

He sat down with the news outlet a day ahead of the first phase in his “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery.” to reopen Florida from a statewide lockdown.

He touted a mobile rapid-testing unit that will launch tomorrow to various communities. The unit will have tests that produce results for COVID-19 in 45 minutes.

Asked about how Florida’s infection rates have been lower than other major states, he credited an early lockdown on restrictions with nursing home visitation.

Florida notably has seen areas significantly affected when COVID-19 spread within homes, causing caution within the industry. But the casualties have been less than other states.

DeSantis credited Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew with policies like not returning nursing home patients hospitalized with COVID-19 unless facilities had appropriate isolation capacity.

DeSantis stressed a hope, though, that rapid testing will soon allow for visitors to nursing homes for people who will undergo rapid testing.

“I’d like to test the family members and let them go visit their loved ones,” DeSantis said. “These people haven’t had visitors for two months. That’s not an easy thing.”

DeSantis also discussed a recent visit with President Donald Trump. The President called for DeSantis to offer recommendations on allowing international visitors to fly into Florida from places like Brazil.

The Governor has staffers working on that issue now, he said, and recommendations will likely include working with airlines and establishing preflight testing at airports in areas with COVID-19 outbreaks.

But the most combative remarks from the Governor came in discussing how bailouts should impact states. As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell criticizes some proposals as “blue state bailouts,” DeSantis said states with a financial plight that predates the coronavirus crisis should not be able to exploit the situation at hand.

“If you are gonna make a state whole from pre-pandemic that’s one thing,” DeSantis said, “but to go beyond that and to bail out pensions or do things like that, a lot of these states weren’t being managed properly.

“I wouldn’t want to see Florida and Texas lose our competitive advantage because they’re getting bailout money and we are not.”

But when Bartiromo pressed on whether Florida will need any bailout money, DeSantis said he’s open to it.

“We lost revenue,” DeSantis said. “I think if they’re going to do a package, we would absolutely love to be included in it because the economy has taken a hit. We have got people unemployed, we have parts of economy that have stopped. We’ll get it back, but I mean it has caused problems.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


3 comments

  • NoGiveAwaysPlease

    May 3, 2020 at 11:34 am

    As usual, I expect to see the Democrats condemning Gov. DeSantis for this stand against using taxpayer money to pay for poor management in a number of States. While the Covid19 crisis caused the government to shut down businesses for national health reasons, thus causing a loss of tax revenue from those businesses, a number of States (and Cities), were poorly managed prior to the forced shutdowns. Those entities put themselves into debt for unpaid promises, and should not benefit from taxpayer monies, for prior poor management of public funds.

    Why do I say that the Democrats will condemn this idea by Gov. DeSantis? Because in every case of poor management putting these governmental entities at risk, have been governed by Democrats for many generations.

    The Covid virus must not be used as an excuse to bail our bad money management at the expense of all working Americans. We work hard for our money, and if we made the same poor choices some of these States made, we would be forced into bankruptcy.

    Our Governments should be held to a higher standard, and not use a time of national emergency ,to stuff their Christmas stockings with all kinds of goodies, that they would never have asked for, prior to this lockdown.

    • Jenet

      May 3, 2020 at 12:34 pm

      I agree! Cuomo and Murphy and others are morons! I’m a Jersey transplant because of how poorly managed it is up there and the property taxes.

    • Margaret A Blustine

      May 3, 2020 at 3:47 pm

      Why are people talking abt money while fla has no flattening and may 1 over 1000 new cases showing open phase 1 will be far worse than still rising daily so fla cases and deaths?? In 2 weeks him.openg phase 1 treasure coast which has had still does steady increasing new cases will.be like miami in 3 weeks.ou of control
      He lies so.much.chart shows state 500 800 600 1000 800 670 1000 thats no flatening no way
      Hw will destroy fla economy totally statewide now by july not to recovervyrs as numbers rack matches italy.fools can even see that.who cares abt money when in 3 weeks fla state wil be all huge not contained epicenter with 100000 new cases to.1 million fast and still inceang.de santis is a murderous liar.there is no flattening.may 1 over 1000 same as worst days still.he is insane open way too early.dont worry abt money now worry how you and our fsmily can live thrugh worst statevepicenter disaster de santis starting now using lis abt numbrs.charts john.hopkins not rigged like his.pray just to liveas he makes another worse action than loose restrictons in april that caused clearly didnt work
      Look at so fla. Now doing worsevtreasure coast.fla 1 worst still high 1000 cses may 1 and not stable but even lowest new cases way too highnopen anything.only strict lockdown save fla economy.he doing opposite yet again.again to.backfire.worry how to survive the monster virus surgevhe startin out of self centered folish juvenile brain

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