Gov. DeSantis gripes feds shorted Florida in Biden-backed infrastructure bill

Florida Legislature
DeSantis says New York and New Jersey benefit more than Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is grousing that Florida didn’t get its full share of cash in yet another federal bill, expanding his critique of the latest ambitious tranche of Washington “pork-barrel” spending.

“So I’d like to know more about this,” the Governor told reporters in Spring Hill on Tuesday. “Is Florida being treated well in this? Or are they basically funneling money to a bunch of very, very high tax and dysfunctional states?”

The Governor was at an event highlighting environmental progress, when he offered the latest in a series of critiques of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructural Framework, a Joe Biden priority passed by Congress last weekend.

Despite saying he was not “apprised of the legislation,” the Governor condemned the latest in a series of federal deficit spending driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic reverberations thereof.

“One of the things that I am concerned about,” DeSantis said. “It seems like there is a disproportionate amount of money that is going to, like, New York and New Jersey. And that Florida’s not getting really a significant share. Out of like a trillion dollars, I mean, they’re saying we’re going to get like $20 billion? That’s not a lot compared to how big the state is.”

Among the expected disbursements to Florida are $13 billion for highway improvement projects, $2.6 billion for public transportation projects, $1.6 billion for water infrastructure, $245 million for bridge replacement projects, $198 million for electric vehicle charging stations, and $100 million for broadband expansion projects. But despite Democrats who voted for the bill touting the revenue as a needed boost, DeSantis says more information is required.

On Monday, the Governor called the bill “pork-barrel spending,” but he chose to amplify talking points and explore new themes and familiar tropes the next day.

DeSantis bemoaned “blue state bailouts” during a previous round of federal spending earlier in the Biden administration, and he rehearsed those criticisms anew Tuesday.

“Florida got penalized,” the Governor griped. “We got penalized because our economy was actually doing better than the lockdown states. So we got less money than our population.”

“And look, we’ll make do with whatever, but if you’re going to do money, you should do it fairly,” DeSantis added.

Despite DeSantis’ complaints, federal benevolence has helped him in one crucial way: DeSantis has seen recent budgets buoyed by pandemic spending from the federal government, with $10.1 billion of federal funding in the $101.5 billion current budget.

For what it’s worth, the Biden administration notes Florida has deep infrastructure needs.

“The need for action in Florida is clear. For decades, infrastructure in Florida has suffered from a systemic lack of investment. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Florida a C grade on its infrastructure report card,” asserts a Biden Administration fact sheet.

The White House says Florida has 408 bridges and more than 3,564 miles of highway in poor condition. The fact sheet denotes issues in other areas, including water quality, internet connectivity, and others.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


5 comments

  • Frankie M.

    November 9, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    Crimea river

  • PeterH

    November 9, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Before the infrastructure bill …..for every dollar that Florida sends to Washington…. The State receives $4.50 in return! It’s commonly called FREE STUFF!

    Florida has a hundred thousand millionaires residing in this state who avoid taxes by using a business LLC to declare ownership of their coastal homes and penthouse condos throughout the State. You have to understand that when the hurricane hits these folks walk away and take a “business loss” for their destroyed real estate. They pay zero state taxes on their annual income and the government picks up the tab for their business losses in a natural disaster. It’s commonly called FREE STUFF.

    Florida is the third largest recipient of Federal aid in the USA…… and DeSantis unapologetically wants more! What a national disgrace….. what an embarrassment!

      • PeterH

        November 9, 2021 at 5:47 pm

        Your chart proves my point!
        Look at how much Florida “receives” and contrast that to the funds it “receives”

        “ Red states are more federally dependent states than blue states. Blue states, however, underperformed in other aspects. Below, we’ll analyze the leaders in each category and see whether red or blue states benefit the most. Please note that the categorization is based on the 2016 presidential election results.”

        Furthermore wingnut ….. DeSantis is complaining that Florida is not receiving more FREE STUFF in the Infrastructure package …… WHEN NOT A SINGLE REPUBLICAN CONGRESSPERSON VOTED TO APPROVE THE PACKAGE.

  • tom palmer

    November 15, 2021 at 9:44 am

    Sounds like the joke about the woman complaining about the quality of the food at their retirement home and adding the portions are too small.

Comments are closed.


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