Florida is flush with cash, and lawmakers voted to put it to use by passing a $112.1 billion budget on Monday.
The spending plan includes a $1.7 billion increase in K-12 schools funding, a 5.4% across-the-board pay raise for state employees, boosts to environmental programs, and a grab bag of tax cuts — including a one-month moratorium on the state’s 25-cents-per-gallon gas tax that will save motorists an estimated $200 million.
The budget, which is $11 billion more than the current year, passed with a unanimous vote in the Senate and a 105-3 vote in the House — the nays came from Democratic Reps. Mike Grieco and Dotie Joseph and Republican Rep. Anthony Sabatini.
With the budget settled and shipped to DeSantis, the Legislature adjourned Sine Die shortly after 1 p.m. The traditional hankie drop marked the end of a Legislative Session that saw numerous controversial bills pass along partisan lines, including a 15-week abortion ban and the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which has snagged national headlines in recent weeks.
While Democrats lamented the focus on those issues — and their inability to stop them from passing — DeSantis all but took a victory lap in the Capitol rotunda.
“I think you guys gave an enormous amount of good things this Legislative Session. I’m really proud to see a lot of stuff that came across the finish line,” he said in a post-Sine Die news conference that was interrupted by protesters shouting for the state to “stop funding corporations.”
The budget now awaits edits from the Governor, who holds line-item veto power. Last year, DeSantis was thought to have wielded a relatively light touch when he slashed $1.5 billion to leave a $101 billion budget.
— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
—@ChrisSprowls: Politics shouldn’t be about catering to the most powerful voices or cowering in fear from the angriest ones; it’s about giving a voice to the everyday moms and dads who pay their bills, go to work and parent their kids. This is who we serve. The House has adjourned Sine Die.
.@GovRonDeSantis’ speech after Florida’s Legislature ends interrupted by protesters raining down fake money and shouts of “stop funding corporations, fund our communities.” pic.twitter.com/pINOKiYswC
— Lawrence Mower (@lmower3) March 14, 2022
—@FLCaseyDeSantis: I am continually thankful for the support I’ve received during my cancer fight and inspired to help others in theirs — grateful that the Legislature joined @GovRonDeSantis in prioritizing funding for the second leading cause of death in Florida with a $100 million investment.
— Manny Diaz Jr. (@SenMannyDiazJr) March 14, 2022
—@LeaderBookFL: Since I was elected to the @FLSenate in 2016, I have been fighting to eliminate the diaper tax for Florida’s families. After years of hard work, I am proud to share that the 2022 state budget — as approved today — finally includes the removal of the sales tax on diapers.
— Jacob Ogles (@jacobogles) March 14, 2022
—@AnnaForFlorida: Just pulled into our Orlando Office and a constituent saw us and asked me to investigate something locally for him — told him we would absolutely take care of it!!! Feels good to be home.
—@KevinCate: Florida state government is so embarrassing.