The Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial will receive more than $300,000 in state money via the 2020-21 budget after that funding was spared by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The Governor was forced to cut more than $1 billion from the state’s original $93.2 billion budget due to the economic impact of COVID-19. The financial slowdown cut into the state’s revenue, leading to slashes DeSantis dubbed a “Red Wedding.”
However, $300,000 in non-recurring funds for the memorial made it past the Governor’s veto pen. That money adds onto just over $66,000 in recurring funds already allotted to go toward the memorial.
Rep. Michael Grieco was behind the original budget request in the House. That request asked for just over $330,000 in non-recurring funds — on top of the recurring money — due to its educational value.
“The Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach will create and implement innovative programming for students grades 5-12 and college, centered around key issues including combating intolerance, hatred and racism, as well as citizenship responsibilities,” the request read.
“It accomplishes this mission via its permanent on-site exhibit, free and open to the public 365 [days per] year, community programs, year round events and educational opportunities.”
The money would go toward hiring Holocaust experts as speakers, marketing the site, paying salary to the Education Coordinator as well as other miscellaneous expenses.
After negotiations, that House and Senate landed at nearly 90% of the original ask. Grieco released a statement Tuesday thanking the Governor for keeping the $300,000 intact.
“We are beyond happy that this important funding survived the Governor’s 2020 ‘Red Wedding.’ This appropriation was a huge priority of mine after getting slashed the year before, leaving thousands of Florida’s high schoolers without access or transportation to this amazing memorial and its educational programs.”
The Miami Beach site for the memorial was originally proposed in the mid-1980s. A dedication ceremony took place in 1990 upon the site’s completion.