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DeSantis makes spending recommendations for $4.1B of federal relief funds

Posted at 4:34 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 00:02:37-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Speaking during a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Florida's Capitol, DeSantis marked one year since the state went on lock-down due to the coronavirus, recognizing Florida's first responders and expressing disappointment in Florida's federal allotment.

"We don't know exactly how much [federal] money we're going to get," DeSantis said. "We estimate it will be between $9 and $10 billion."

DeSantis announced a $1,000 payment to first responders for their service over the past year of the pandemic, a $208.4 million total allotment. Payments would be issued sometime during the current fiscal year.

    Governor DeSantis’ budget recommendations, totaling $4.1 billion, to the Florida Legislature regarding the use of these federal funds are listed below:

    Providing Assistance to Floridians

    $208.4 Million (FY 20-21) – Direct Payments to Pandemic First Responders

    $73.2 Million (FY 21-22) – Re-Employment Assistance Modernization

    $56.6 Million (FY 21-22) – Re-Employment Assistance Operations

    $72 Million (FY 21-22) – Behavioral Health System Modernization

    Promoting Economic Development and Recovery

    $258.2 Million (FY 20-21) – Relief for Florida’s Seaports

    $150 Million (FY 21-22) – Florida Job Growth Grant Fund

    $50 Million (FY 21-22) – VISIT FLORIDA

    $50 Million (FY 21-22) – Economic Development Transportation Fund

    Investing in Infrastructure, Resiliency and Readiness

    $938.4 Million (FY 20-21) – Transportation Work Program

    $1 Billion (FY 21-22) – Resilient Florida Grant Program

    $1 Billion (FY 21-22) – Emergency Management Response Fund

    $41.7 Million (FY 21-22) – Florida National Guard Expansion

    Workforce Training and Research

    $125 Million (FY 21-22) – Education and Employment Training Program

    $60 Million (FY 21-22) – Workforce Development Capitalization Incentive Grants

    $10 Million (FY 21-22) – Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program

    "There are a lot of rules and restrictions and we're going to wait for the guidance before we find out how to spend the money," said DeSantis.

    DeSantis said Florida is in a strong position due to the decision made over the past year but said: "we're getting the short end of the stick."

    The Governor’s budget officials say some of these allotments are being recommended for the current fiscal year, like the first responder bonuses. Others will be set for the coming fiscal year starting July 1, 2021.

    It is still unclear exactly how much Florida will receive from the federal relief bill in state aid. Budget officials say it’s based on how many of the nation’s unemployed are in Florida, not the unemployment rate.