Budget conference: Chambers remain at odds on jobs, transportation, police recruitment programs
Alex Andrade takes a pass on the Senate.

The Senate is sticking to its $75M position for the Job Growth Grant Fund.

Lawmakers continue to squabble over funding levels for a set of programs key to economic development in the state.

In the latest offer from the Senate, the chamber is sticking to its position of $75 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund, which allows Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue grants to local governments for job training and transportation projects. DeSantis requested $100 million for the program, but the House included $42 million in its offer.

Another difference between the chambers is on transportation funding, although the Senate moved to the House preference for $13.98 billion for the Florida Department of Transportation’s work program, the main vehicle for infrastructure projects in the state, down from its original preference of about $14.2 billion.

But the Senate is also pushing for $231 million in local transportation projects on top of the work program, which the House doesn’t include in its budget.

The Senate is also sticking to its position of not funding new facilities at Camp Blanding, the training center for the Florida National Guard. The House wants $100 million for improvements to the site.

“Our National Guard has discussed the need for a Level 2 operational center there,” said Rep. Alex Andrade, a Pensacola Republican and the top House transportation budget negotiator. “So it’s our hope and intent to move that forward and allow them to build out the needed components of Camp Blanding.”

The chambers are moving closer to each other on the law enforcement recruitment bonus program. The latest Senate offer was $17 million, up $2 million from its original budget but still $3 million short of what the House prefers. DeSantis has consistently touted the program, which pays a $5,000 signing bonus for new police officers who come to Florida from out of state.

Despite the differences there have been key areas of agreement. The House agreed to $80 million for VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s tourism marketing agency, and the chambers had already agreed to $258 million for affordable housing programs as part of their initial budgets.

Gray Rohrer

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 28, 2024 at 8:46 am

    Why is it that Florida needs to give a $5,000 signing bonus to people to come to Florida from out of state to work as police officers?

    Is it that crime in Florida is that dangerous to officers of the law?

    Or is it that people do not really want to move to Florida like Rhonda claims they do?

    Or is it most likely BOTH….

    There’s feces all over all of Florida’s sidewalks. It’s the feces of Florida’s G0P, and everybody that smells it steers clear. It’s why domestic tourism is at an all time low.

    Florida is where people who know choose not to go.

Comments are closed.


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