- The Florida Democrats are demanding the release of the vetoed line items from the state’s 2023-24 budget.
- Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the budget into law on Thursday morning but did not disclose specifics about funding levels or items he personally vetoed, breaking from traditional decorum
- DeSantis has gained a reputation for his use of the line-item veto, having already vetoed $5.6 billion and counting, surpassing his predecessors in monetary cuts.
The Florida Democrats are requesting that the state’s 2023–24 budget’s vetoed line items be made public. The budget was signed by the governor today, but important information regarding particular allocations and line vetoes remains uncovered.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state’s proposed budget on Thursday morning, touting a $2.7 billion tax relief program, investments in education, and the implementation of environmental protections, but deviating from traditional budget-signing decorum, failed to disclose specifics about funding levels or items that he personally vetoed.
In previous years, the publicization of such actions came concurrent with the budget’s adoption, leading many within the state legislative process to run rampant with speculations. The 2023-24 budget is estimated to feature roughly $3 billion in cuts. An inquiry made by The Capitolist to the Executive Office of the Governor regarding the matter went unanswered.
“The Florida Democrats call for the immediate release of the line-item vetoes — Floridians deserve to know what our tax dollars are going to fund, and a governor who takes their job as seriously as we do,” stated the Democrats on Twitter.
DeSantis has gained a reputation for his extensive use of the line-item veto through his two terms as governor, surpassing his predecessors in terms of monetary cuts. Previous Republican governors in Florida, such as Jeb Bush and Rick Scott, also wielded the line-item veto power to curtail spending. Bush, known as the “Godfather of Florida Fiscal Conservatism,” amassed $2 billion in vetoes during his tenure, while Scott vetoed $2.4 billion across eight years. However, DeSantis has surpassed them all, having already vetoed $5.6 billion and counting.
DeSantis initially used the veto sparingly, but as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, he significantly increased the regularity of the use of his veto power, cutting more than $1 billion in 2020 and $1.5 billion in 2021. In the previous year, he eliminated 400 individual line items worth $3.1 billion.
This year, DeSantis faces a record-breaking $117 billion budget filled with over 1,500 member projects. In addition to various provisions, the budget proposal incorporates $26.7 billion dedicated to the Florida Education Finance Program, which serves as the primary financial support for public schools. Moreover, it designates $47.3 billion to fund health and human services programs and allocates 5 percent salary increases across the board for state employees.
This is a developing story.