November 19, 2019

Environmentalists: Gov. DeSantis’ budget falls short of pent-up needs

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.

Laura Cassel of the Florida Phoenix writes:

"Representing a new theme song for environmental issues in Florida, observers say Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is doing better than his predecessors but is not doing enough to overcome decades of degradation of sensitive lands and water quality.

Commenting on the budget plan DeSantis released Monday, critics said his proposed funding of $2 billion for the Department of Environmental Protection — an increase of $234 million — is an improvement over the previous administration but called on lawmakers to do much more now that Republican lawmakers belatedly acknowledge climate change and its heavy toll in Florida.


'The governor’s proposal funds Florida Forever, the state’s primary land conservation program, at $100 million. While this is an important commitment to conservation, it’s far below the level needed to make up for years of dismal environmental protection funding at the hands of state lawmakers,' the nonpartisan Florida Policy Institute said in a statement [emphasis added]."

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