Gov. DeSantis’ budget vetoes include music instruments, park improvements, amenities for the disabled

Ron DeSantis 5.17.23 AP PHOTO (5)
​​In a $116.5 billion budget, not even a $10,000 item was small enough to escape Gov. Ron DeSantis’ veto.

​​In a $116.5 billion budget, not even a $10,000 item was small enough to escape Gov. Ron DeSantis veto.

Republican Rep. Daniel Alvarez’s request for $10,000 for Hillsborough County Habitat for Humanity, to help build homes for veterans, amounted to the smallest request DeSantis’ veto pen stripped out of the budget. And Rep. Robin Bartleman’s request for $12,000 to fund the Weston Music Society’s School Music Program and Music Grants came in as the second-smallest item to fall in the veto purge that trimmed state expenses by a little more than half a billion dollars.

It’s the second year that the Weston Democrat’s request for state money to cover items such as musical instruments, concerts and band uniforms has made it into the budget, only to get vetoed. But she’s vowing to bring it back again.

The cuts don’t seem to have any rhyme or reason, said Democratic Rep. Michael Gottlieb, who represents south Broward County and watched his $450,000 appropriation for an all-inclusive playground in Plantation get excised in Thursday’s veto announcement.

“Especially in light of the fact that we’re constantly hearing that the Florida economy is robust and there’s an excess amount of money in reserve,” said Gottlieb, who served as the Democrats’ floor leader this year.

The House Democratic Office did a spreadsheet suggesting there was some logic behind the vetoes, however. Their analysis showed that although Democrats account for less than a third of House members, their projects accounted for 42% of those vetoed.

Democratic Rep. Daryl Campbell, who represents central Broward County, said he was surprised to see $857,000 worth of parks projects in two locations disappear just like that.

“While I’m down, I’m going to keep fighting for my community,” he said.

Democrat Rep. Ashley Gantt, also a freshman lawmaker, saw an agenda. Three out of four items she had gotten in the budget were vetoed — amounting to $850,000 in spending that would have reached seniors and youth.

“A clear message has been received, Black Floridians suffer under this Governor’s administration due to partisan political theatre,” the Miami area lawmaker said in a prepared statement.

Still, Stuart Republican Rep. John Snyder was at the Fort Pierce budget signing with the Governor and then later learned that more than $1.5 million he had gotten into the budget was now no longer happening. The cuts were about $500,000 apiece for arts spending, hurricane hardening for the Arc of Palm Beach County’s South Campus, serving developmentally disabled citizens, and an unmanned aerial response team for the Palm Beach County Sheriff.

When texted about the vetoes, Snyder texted back: “I was proud to stand with Governor DeSantis today as he signed a truly historic budget into law. Where Washington, D.C. continues to get it wrong, Florida is setting the standard with a balanced budget, $10 billion in reserves, and a $2.3 billion tax cut.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • john KING

    June 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Guvna Ronnie ONLY supports things that buys him votes. Sad that this poor excuse for a public servant is ONLY interested in things that support his twisted idea of what is right. Especially since he is so CONSITSTENTLY wrong!

    • Steve

      June 16, 2023 at 8:51 am

      There’s plenty of money in this new budget for things that have nothing to do with pay backs and also a lot of things that I personally don’t support. Let’s just be thankful that it is at least a balanced budget and that we do have reserves. Regardless of party, this should be the least that a governor does out of respect of the tax payers. Look at ALL the blue state governors that are running their states into the ground running huge deficits that not only Floridians but ALL US taxpayers are having or going to have to pay for their malfeasance.

      • Joel

        June 16, 2023 at 9:27 am

        Thank the Florida constitution for the balanced budget, not the Governor.

      • PJ W

        June 16, 2023 at 9:43 am

        Blue states fund Red states. That is a known fact. Look it up.

    • JonC.

      June 16, 2023 at 9:42 am

      Feel free to move, John. The governor is setting the benchmark for wiping out pork projects and engaging in fiscal responsibility. Sorry the band uniforms didn’t make it. Have a bake sale.

      • PJ W

        June 16, 2023 at 9:44 am

        The Moms for Hate do not like bake sales. Their idea of a boy baking cookies does not align with their “women in the Kitchen” thinking…

      • LK

        June 16, 2023 at 2:01 pm

        Seems he didn’t cut you, Porky

    • Ken

      June 16, 2023 at 10:05 am

      If he’s so bad then why is the state of Florida doing so well?

      • JT

        June 16, 2023 at 11:12 am

        Home insurance and taxes is unbearable, rental rate has gone sky high, he’s promoting free Florida but when you don’t agree with him, he goes after you. Women aren’t free, LGBTQ community isn’t free. He has set aside million of tax payers money to fight all of these lawsuits he created, that’s why he’s cutting services. So what do you call doing well? Open your eyes.

      • Shauna

        June 16, 2023 at 6:22 pm

        Doing well!? Wake up and read about Florida! I live here and it’s never been more expensive and unsafe in the 44 years here!

  • Caesar Smith

    June 16, 2023 at 9:07 am

    Big Ronda Disaster has been dragging FL into the mud since he took office….or should I say, his massive ego took office. I had no idea that some of the most notable US colleges actually graduated idiots with less than an IQ of 80! So happy my children actually attended and graduated from much better schools that actually taught more about being a good human then not!

    • John Conly

      June 16, 2023 at 9:54 am

      Sounds like a political rant!!

  • Michael K

    June 16, 2023 at 9:08 am

    A budget is simply numerical articulation of policy. With plenty of money to go around, and legislative vetting, DeSantis shows his petty, vindictive and bigoted true colors – while bloating his personal ambitions with wasteful stunts – like $12 million for chatter jest flights for migrants.

    At least the College Board is standing up to him on LGBTQ history on AP courses. His nasty scapegoating is backfiring, and his racism is in full bloom. America does not wish to become Alabama or Mississippi, which is where DeSantis is dragging us.

    • John Conly

      June 16, 2023 at 9:57 am

      Florida has a balanced budget and robust reserves. Calif and New York are running serious deficits while chasing political agendas.

    • KD

      June 16, 2023 at 10:08 am

      DeSantis and the GOP legislature have ruined the state and only approve budget items that benefit Ronny and his biased causes.

      First of all, the budget is high because he uses 1/3rd of the money from the federal government! He does nothing for the 85% of Floridians tgat have non school age children. Everything is for children and parents rights (15% of FL population). It’s all about HIS agenda, presidency, and the GOP led legislature. $12m to fly immigrants who never even set their feet on FL soil!!
      Everyone also complains about the US economy BUT when he was asked to give back the federal funds from COVID which he should ….. he refused! So don’t complain about the economy to Washington. Direct your complaints to DeSantis.

  • Richard Cernech

    June 16, 2023 at 10:13 am

    I am confused… Where is it mandated either by constitution or other instrument that our tax paid government is to supply any of the items some people are crying about not getting? Isn’t government suppose to provide education through grade 12; build and maintain roads and bridges; enforce laws through law enforcement agencies; maintain and insure proper building codes; and control sprawl? I have never in almost 3/4 of a century in this country understood why anyone thinks they should get anything from the government except what is required by the constitution. Government is not a charity or a welfare system, although that is what it had become. If our illustrious Politian’s would just do their jobs and provide what they are required and not what they want, we would have a much better country, states, counties, cities, townships! Just do your job and our people will take care of our people.

    • Jim

      June 16, 2023 at 10:24 am

      Yay, Richard! You are absolutely correct. Thanks for your comment.

    • Germansmith

      June 16, 2023 at 12:35 pm

      Also government is not supposed to subsidize religious private schools, or our state government not supposed to use our tax monies to move immigrants from other states to another OR to implement laws that are clearly against our state constitution and violate the liberty and privacy of individuals….and nevertheless you seem to have no problem with that.
      Better counties, states and country are developed when government is there to assure a balance and better living conditions for ALL citizen and not just those that are born to privilege. Ancient Romans knew this, Louis the XV of France forgot and look what happened to him.
      The best most stable countries are the ones where government is involved in the well being of ALL their citizens. Maybe you should spend studying some history of the USA in the early XX Century

  • Germansmith

    June 16, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    It is simple people
    -Moving immigrants from Texas to California by private plane….Yep gets approved because it causes problems to a blue state, poke the eyes of liberals.
    -Tax funds for school vouchers for people that can pay for private school themselves…yep, this earn DeSantis votes
    -Money for lawyers to defend laws that are unconstitutional BUT it earn him MAGA votes…yep of course. Look at it as free electoral funds.
    Parks for poor people , items requested by Democrats…..Nah, that is not necessary and DeSantis would not do anything that will give Democrats any benefit or get him votes.
    That is the nature of the beast Republicans elected ….helped by a very incompetent Florida Democratic Party


    June 16, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    Nothing good can be said of Florida’s “small. pathetic man” that has been so well described by the Govna of our biggest state. I resent that MY STATE TAXES ARE BEING USED BY THE BIGGEST IDIOT RONDA DISASTER TO TRANSPORT POOR PEOPLE FROM TAXAS TO CAL WITH MY MONEY! HEY RONDA….WHO THE F**K DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? I’M SURE THAT YOUR DAY WILL COME!!!!!!!!!

  • Ron DeSantis wears High Heels

    June 17, 2023 at 9:17 am

    Plenty of taxpayer money available for kidnapping immigrants though, and sending them to Blue States. Weird.

Comments are closed.


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