Budget conference: Gov. DeSantis’ election crimes office funded, but no gas tax cut yet

The election office funding falls short of the Governor's request, however.

House and Senate budget negotiators offered to spend $1.16 million for an office of election crimes and security, staffed with 15 employees, as part of the latest spending plan.

The office is part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal to have a new election crimes enforcement unit to go after voter fraud. The funding and number of workers dedicated to it, however, are short of the $5.7 million and 52 staff members he sought.

Another major DeSantis proposal, placing a moratorium on the state’s 25 cent per gallon gas tax for five months starting July 1 is not included in either chamber’s proposals. Neither the House nor Senate’s transportation budgets account for temporarily nixing the gas tax, and none of the tax cut proposals forwarded by either chamber include the gas tax moratorium.

DeSantis floated the plan last year as a way to counter rampant inflation, which he blames on President Joe Biden’s policies. The Governor said the plan would save consumers about $1 billion.

But Senate President Wilton Simpson, a Trilby Republican, has sounded skeptical of the idea. He has preferred to find tax cuts targeted to Florida residents instead of the large amount of tourists who would benefit from the gas tax moratorium. House Speaker Chris Sprowls, a Palm Harbor Republican, has made similar statements but wouldn’t rule out the issue coming up during budget negotiations.

“Our priority in the House budget as reflected in our tax package is to make sure tax cuts were received by Floridians,” Sprowls told reporters last week.

Sprowls instead pointed to the House’s budget bill to set up a $2 billion trust fund to account for inflation costs for state agencies. The proposal, however, wouldn’t provide the relief for consumers that DeSantis wants. The Budgeting for Inflation that Drives Elevated Needs (BIDEN) fund, was to receive $2 billion in the House bill, HB 5011. But the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday amended it to remove the title and make the trust fund subject to budget negotiations between the chambers.

Gray Rohrer


  • martucci

    March 1, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    A gas tax holiday would benefit every resident of Florida. But Noooooo….Greedy Grail, Silly Will Simpson and Beta Boy Sprowls had set their early sights on manufacturing a “non-problem” by wasting valuable legislative time on auto insurance “reform”.
    These three legislators are toxic to the fine citizens of Florida.

  • PeterH

    March 1, 2022 at 2:48 pm

    Fun Facts:
    Most of Florida’s election crime was perpetuated by Republicans. The criminals have been caught and identified. Why does DeSantis need an additional $1.6 million slush fund when the existing mechanisms to catch voter fraud criminals already exist?

  • tom palmer

    March 1, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    The gas tax cut was a short-sighted hit on state road funding while the state keeps wanting to build more unnecessary roads. Wait! Maybe it’s a good idea after all.

  • Tom

    March 2, 2022 at 7:58 am

    Gas tax moratorium has merit, focus on a 100 day period, July 1 thru early Oct. RINO Repub. who has blown up the state and Ag budget, for new helicopters, planes, promotion budget, caving into big suga, anti Lake O water reservoir bill, and of course state employee pay increases. Just so happens he’s running for zag comm. All in a sessions work for state bureaucracy and big suga.

    Gov. should be prepared to veto bad policy. Especially the spending feast at Simpson’s office. But of course, no gas tax moratorium for working people, families, the peeps that vote for arrogant RINOS like Simpson. Shameful.
    Oh yeah he wants you to vote for him.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704