September 27, 2022

DeSantis' migrant flights grabbed headlines -- and now face legal scrutiny as questions swirl

Miles Cohen writes:

"The Florida Legislature earlier this year approved $12 million from the state's budget for a program to 'facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state,' according to the language in the budget.


That $12 million in the state's budget comes from the interest accrued on the $8.8 billion that Florida received as a part of the $350 billion federal fund for state and local governments to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. The fund is part of the American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Joe Biden.

States were directed to use their portion of the funds on pandemic-related issues such as providing pay bumps for essential workers and making up for shortfalls in lost revenue.

But there are fewer restrictions and parameters on how the interest accrued from the funds can be used, said Alexis Tsoukalas, an analyst for the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added].

'Clearly, the fund was meant to help Floridians who are recovering from the persistent impacts of the pandemic, not for initiatives like these," Tsoukalas [emphasis added] told ABC News. 'It wasn't the intention for the federal government that these funds would be used in these manners.'"


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