Gov. DeSantis unveils $114.8B budget plan
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after signing the $92.2 billion 2020-21 budget Monday during a news conference at the Capitol in Tallahassee. DeSantis vetoed more than $1 billion from the spending plan sent to him by the legislature. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

'Florida — we’re built to succeed now and well into the future.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis is releasing a $114.8 billion spending proposal for next fiscal year, a $3.8 billion increase from the current year, which he said reflects the economic success of Florida despite the headwinds of the COVID-19 pandemic and rampant inflation.

“Florida — we’re built to succeed now and well into the future,” DeSantis told reporters at the Capitol.

The recommended budget is for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Florida lawmakers will consider the plan when they meet for the 60-day Regular Session that starts March 7.

The plan also includes $700 million for state worker pay increases, including a 5% across the board pay hike for most employees and a 10% jump for so-called “hard to hire” positions. State law enforcement officials would see thousands of dollars in raises as well on top of the across the board pay bump.

DeSantis also wants to continue the $5,000 recruitment bonus for new police officers throughout the state, and raise the starting salary for prison guards to $23 per hour.

The employer contribution to state worker pension plans is increased by 3% and pension payouts are increased by 4% in the plan to account for inflation.

The K-12 schools budget would be set at $26 billion, or $8,453 per student, a $205 increase on the current year. That includes $1 billion to pad teacher salaries, a $200 million jump, and $535 million for student transportation, a $20 million increase.

DeSantis said he supports the universal school choice bill, HB 1, pushed by House Speaker Paul Renner, but noted that allowing vouchers to go to parents of students who are already in private school would increase the cost to the state.

“I’m supportive of school choice,” DeSantis said. “It depends on how they do it. I think they’re talking about a cap from people who are already in private whether they can then qualify if they’re already paying without a scholarship.”

A new state investment fund seeded with $1 billion would be set up under the plan, with the first 3% of returns going back into the fund, the next 2.5% of returns going to a debt reduction program and any remaining returns would go into general revenue.

DeSantis is also opposed to returning any of the COVID-19 relief money provided by the federal government back to Uncle Sam, as U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, DeSantis’ predecessor, has asked states to do. DeSantis’ budget plan would spend more than $400 million in federal COVID-19 aid.

“How much of a dent would that make in the debt? I mean seriously,” DeSantis said. “I appreciate when federal folks are concerned about how we’re managing this — why don’t they get their house in order? Why don’t they stop spending so much of our money?”

Gray Rohrer


  • Deborah Ryan

    February 2, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    As a retired state of Florida employee I think that state employees need a raise. I also think that law enforcement officers need a raise.

  • Vivian Saladrigas

    February 10, 2023 at 6:26 pm

    As a 31 year state employee, it is very sad that new employees that come now make more money than myself on the same work position. My salary is like a antique picture. Very sad.

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, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

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

Sign up for Sunburn