December 9, 2021

DeSantis proposes Florida budget with bonuses for teachers and police

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Lawrence Mower, Mary Ellen Klas, Ana Ceballos and Kirby Wilson write:

"TALLAHASSEE — Flush with booming tax revenues and billions in federal cash, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday unveiled a proposed $99.7 billion budget for the state’s next fiscal year that includes $1,000 bonuses for teachers and police and millions to combat illegal immigration and election fraud.

Calling it the “Freedom First Budget” to echo DeSantis’ reelection slogan, his proposed budget includes nearly $1 billion for the environment and no tuition increases for state colleges and universities.


Florida could draw down even more federal Medicaid money if it decided to expand the program to the state’s working poor under the Affordable Care Act. According to the progressive-leaning Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], that state would get nearly $2 billion in savings in the next two years by expanding the program because of provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March."


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