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Statement by Florida TaxWatch on Governor DeSantis’ Budget Vetoes

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro released the following statement upon Gov. Ron DeSantis announcing his budget vetoes for the FY2020-21 budget totaling more than $1 billion:

“Since the record breaking $93.2 billion budget for FY2020-21 was passed by the Florida Legislature on March 19, the state’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the financial and physical health of Florida and its communities. As Florida’s trusted government watchdog and fiscal policy leader, over the past three months Florida TaxWatch has responded to this crisis by introducing numerous policy recommendations, issuing veto guidance in our annual Budget Turkey Watch Report, and laying out our Roadmap for a Responsible Recovery Report to bring Florida’s budget back from COVID-19. Today, we are proud that Gov. DeSantis has heeded TaxWatch’s proposals and vetoed more than $1 billion from the FY2020-21 budget, including vetoing 81 percent, or 146 of the 180 projects and budget items identified by FTW as Budget Turkeys. The governor also vetoed 518 member projects cutting more than $264 million from the budget.

“The May General Revenue collections report from the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) showed declines in revenue incomes for the second straight month, placing Florida down nearly $1.5 billion under estimates year to date. These losses underscore the need to resist complacency, double down on our resolve to defeat COVID-19, and continue to create and implement innovative solutions that ensure enduring fiscal accountability and strength for the Sunshine State.

“Just as we have for the past 40 years, FTW will continue to work tirelessly with state and local leaders on fiscal policy recommendations in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Today’s vetoes from Gov. DeSantis are a measured and thoughtful approach and we thank him, his administration, and the countless officials who are working to guide Florida forward and help us emerge from this historical challenge stronger than ever before.”

Since FTW began issuing its Budget Turkey Watch Report in 1986, both Democratic and Republican governors have vetoed more than $3 billion in items tagged by FTW as Budget Turkeys.

To see the 2020 Budget Turkey Watch Report, please click here

To see the BRINGING FLORIDA’S BUDGET BACK FROM COVID-19 A Roadmap for a Responsible Recovery Report, please click here.

About Florida TaxWatch
As an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog and taxpayer research institute for more than forty years and the trusted eyes and ears of Florida taxpayers, Florida TaxWatch works to improve the productivity and accountability of Florida government. Its research recommends productivity enhancements and explains the statewide impact of fiscal and economic policies and practices on citizens and businesses. Florida TaxWatch is supported by its membership via voluntary, tax-deductible donations and private grants, and does not accept government funding. Donations provide a solid, lasting foundation that has enabled Florida TaxWatch to bring about a more effective, responsive government that is more accountable to, and productive for, the citizens it serves since 1979. For more information, please visit www.floridataxwatch.org

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