OAN Roy Francis
7:54 AM PT – Thursday, February 9, 2023
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is seeking tax cuts for residents of Florida and pay increase for state employees.
The Republican Governor, who is widely considered a strong contender for the 2024 presidential nomination, unveiled the “Framework for Freedom” proposal.
The $114 billion spending proposal is scheduled for the next fiscal year which will start on July 1st.
The governor pointed to the state’s 2.5% unemployment rate, high level of in-migration, low taxes, and rapid new business creations when introducing his new proposal.
“Florida is stronger than ever,” he said. “That shows you that the state is going in the right direction.”
The budget would expand sales-tax exemptions, as well as creating over 10 temporary tax-free holidays.
The holidays would provide a temporary window for tax-free purchases of items such as children’s books, certain household necessities, and disaster preparedness items.
The proposal also called for a $200 million increase to pay raises for teachers, and $451 million for Florida’s free pre-k initiative, which has around 155,000 children in it.
He also called for a 5% pay raise for state employees, and an additional 10% for “hard-to-hire” positions, with a $23 minimum hourly wage for Correctional Officers.
“When you’re in a situation where you have really persistent inflation,” he said. “Where you have a growing state with infrastructure needs, you don’t want to have all this money just sitting there.”
The Florida governor has been rolling out his other priorities recently, which included a $7 billion infrastructure plan for upgrades to the state’s roadways.
Other priorities that the governor is pushing for are over $2.7 billion for Florida’s agricultural industry, $30 million for recruitment bonuses for law enforcement recruitment purposes, $614 million for Everglades restoration projects, $370 million for water quality improvement, $807.4 million for rail and transit projects, $100 million for high-speed internet deployment, $1.5 billion for the Florida College System, and $3.1 billion for State University System.
DeSantis’ plan is a proposal with lawmakers in the Florida House and Senate having to craft an appropriation bill that will factor in his recommendations.
The legislative session for the lawmakers will begin in March, with DeSantis ultimately holding line-item veto authority after the legislature passes the bill.