MARCO ISLAND, Fla — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a surprise visit to Marco Island on Tuesday morning to unveil plans for Florida's upcoming budget. He spoke at a press conference at the Marco Island Charter School.
Taking center stage, Governor DeSantis announced his "Focus on Florida's Future" budget plan, outlining a $114.4 billion proposal. The budget includes allocations for the state's transportation network.
In addition, a proposed investment in early childhood education is set to include $450 million in funding for voluntary pre-kindergarten programs.
Governor DeSantis also highlighted initiatives for law enforcement, tax relief, and safe school measures as components of the proposed budget.
"This is a budget that, I think, is respecting the taxpayers of this state. We are living within our means, paring back our expenses, reducing the size of government, cutting taxes, and eliminating more of our state's debt," said DeSantis.
While Governor DeSantis claimed credit for the positive trend in the state, the Florida Democratic Party issued a statement post-event, criticizing the budget rollout as a failure to address pressing issues.
“Ron says that his budget ‘respects the taxpayers’ of Florida, but his refusal to address property insurance, the housing crisis, and the cost of living are a slap in the face to struggling Floridians," the group said in a statement.
Meanwhile, conservatives who spoke to Fox 4 at the event expressed surprise at Governor DeSantis's visit to Marco Island.
"I'm actually on the board of the school, so it is an honor for him to be here today," one participant stated.
Recent polling suggests Governor DeSantis is losing ground as he continues his run for the U.S. presidency. He is scheduled to attend the fourth GOP presidential debate in Alabama on Wednesday.