FGCU projects among Southwest Florida spending nixed by Gov. DeSantis

The region may be home to current and future Senate Presidents, but wasn't spared from fiscal scrutiny.

A number of projects budgeted in Southwest Florida fell to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ veto pen. The Governor signed the state budget but slashed nearly $1 billion.

The biggest victim in the region was Florida Gulf Coast University in Lee County. There, DeSantis nixed $11 million for renovations of Reed Hall and $4.7 million for the Wilson G. Bradshaw Library and Annex.

The latter project had been championed by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, who in a budget request argued the school library needed to be expanded and modernized to accommodate a doubling of the student body at the Estero school over the last decade.

DeSantis also vetoed $4 million for a Cape Coral Northeast Reservoir Water Transmission Main and Regional Water Supply Project, sought by Rep. Spencer Roach, and another $500,000 for the hardening of a Fort Myers YMCA, part of a request by Tampa Rep. Danny Alvarez.

In Collier County, DeSantis killed $2 million for the 10 modular prekindergarten classrooms as part of pilot education program, and $1 million for the West Goodlette Frank Stormwater Improvement. Both projects were sponsored by Passidomo as well.

Further north in Charlotte County, the veto pen eliminated $2 million for a septic to sewer conversion project at Lakeview Midway. He also pulled out $1.25 million lawmakers set aside for a flood monitoring and response network, less than two years after Hurricane Ian delivered intense flooding in the region.

In the Sarasota area, DeSantis wiped out $1 million in support of a North Port Blue Ridge Salford Neighborhood Water and Sewer Expansion and $200,000 for the Perlman Music Program Winter Residency. Both those projects had been requested through Sen. Joe Gruters’ Office. But the biggest hit in Sarasota appeared to be the $2 million for Workforce Attainable Housing that had been sponsored by Sen. Nick DiCeglie.

In Manatee County, the Governor stripped funding for a sanitary sewer lining program for infiltration and inflow reduction in Bradenton to the tune of $2.2 million. He also killed $625,000 for Bradenton beach seagrass protection and boating access that had been budgeted as a grant. And he blocked $3 million for four-laning Fort Hamer Road. Sen. Jim Boyd had pursued funding for all three projects.

And in Hendry County, the veto pen canceled $550,000 set to go to the Area Housing Commission of Clewiston, LaBelle and Hendry County for wastewater improvements. That’s another project Passidomo had requested.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Wade Wilson of Florida Nazi Party

    June 13, 2024 at 6:04 am

    Wade Wilson, model Floridian

    Wade Wilson has been convicted of murdering two Florida women who were brutally strangled just hours apart.

    The Cape Coral jury deliberated for just two hours and seven minutes before reaching the verdict on Wednesday. Wilson appeared to swallow back tears as he was found guilty on all counts.

    Jurors will now be tasked with making a recommendation whether Wilson will face the death penalty or life in prison without parole. Judge Nick Thompson will then make the final decision. The sentencing phase is set to begin on June 20.

    Wilson, 30, who was allowed to wear makeup in court to cover the swastika tattoos on his face, refused to testify in his double-murder trial, which began in Cape Coral two weeks ago.

    In closing arguments on Wednesday, the prosecution said Wilson killed Kristine Melton, 35, and Diane Ruiz, 43, on October 7, 2019, for the sake of killing.

    • My Take

      June 19, 2024 at 5:30 pm

      One fewer MAGA vote.

  • KathrynA

    June 13, 2024 at 8:35 am

    With Florida flooding once again, it makes such sense to veto these water and sewage projects!!! Just why in light of all the water issues of the past few years?

  • rbruce

    June 13, 2024 at 8:58 am

    Local projects should be paid for with local money. FGCU endowment is about $84.6 million.

  • My Take

    June 18, 2024 at 5:59 pm

    Didn’t FGCU beat DeSlantis in his appoint-a-stooge -president scam?
    The student representative’s vote made the difference it was reported. they beat him.
    DeScamus doesn’t forget a vengeance debt.

Comments are closed.


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