Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday highlighted Florida’s economic recovery and touted it over states that took a “lockdown” approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a press conference in Fort Myers, DeSantis took a moment to praise the state’s growing revenue stream and fortified “rainy day” fund.
The recovery, the Republican Governor suggested, are fruits of his cavalier approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“None of that would’ve been possible had we done lockdown policies, had we blocked kids out of school, had we done a lot of the things a lot of these other states have done,” DeSantis told reporters. “There’s a reason why our unemployment rate is lower than the national average by a pretty significant amount.”
Indeed, Florida’s revenue is trending upward. In April, state revenue exceeded expectations by roughly $750 million.
Moreover, the state doubled its reserve fund without touching a cent throughout the pandemic, DeSantis noted.
State revenue, he further forecasted, will continue to exceed expectations in the months to come.
“The amount of revenue that’s coming in because of the economic strength in the state is unlike (what) a lot of the economists in Tallahassee have seen before,” DeSantis said.
The Governor’s remarks came Wednesday at the final leg of a three-stop trip across the state.
The trip, which comes ahead of National Police Week, is intended to highlight one of his top legislative priorities, $1,000 bonus checks to first responders.
Eligible first responders include law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, paramedics, institutional security officers and certain state agency officials.
At the various stops, DeSantis noted that first responders operated at the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic despite great risk to themselves and loved ones.
Educators are also slated to receive a $1,000 bonus check.
While the Governor highlighted the state’s economic ascent, he also lamented the ongoing cruise ship restrictions implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Speaking at a prior stop, DeSantis noted the no-sail order’s toll on those dependent on the industry, including Florida’s service-service based economy.
“Just imagine if that was open,” DeSantis said in Fort Myers. “(There are) 10s of 1,000s of jobs that are affiliated with that.”
Florida filed a lawsuit in April against the federal government over the no-sail order.