Eyeing the wreckage of months of work and across-the-aisle negotiations, state Senator Victor Torres on Monday sharply criticized Governor Ron DeSantis for his politically-inspired vetoes aimed at everything from public safety to job creation for the residents in Central Florida.
“Governor DeSantis never reached out to me or my office before slashing more than 10 million dollars for much needed Central Florida projects,” said Torres. “When you look at the items removed from the budget, it is easy to see how Democrats took a much harder hit than our Republican colleagues. But the sad reality is that all Floridians lose when the Governor employs political retribution in budget policy.”
More than 160 projects were stricken from the $91 billion budget by DeSantis, who claimed he talked to lawmakers to give them a chance to explain their requests for funding. Senator Torres noted that the vast majority of the 131 million dollars in budget cuts appeared to be proposed either by Democratic members of the Legislature or Republicans who have not shown much favorable support for the governor, or his political mentor President Trump.
DeSantis vetoed $6 million for BRIDG, a regional manufacturing facility that has received State funding for the past 5 years, $1.6 million for UCF Downtown campus, and nearly $1 million to complete a public safety training center in Kissimmee that is dedicated to two fallen officers killed in the line of duty two years ago.
“Governor DeSantis claims to be a champion for our law enforcement and public safety personnel, yet his veto of the training facility will make our first responders less safe in doing their jobs of protecting the health, safety and welfare of all Floridians,” said Torres.
“I worked hard with Republican leaders in the Legislature to secure funding for these worthwhile projects, and the Governor decided their fate on a unilateral partisan whim. These were not my personal projects. They were desperately needed to support economic and educational opportunities and enhancement of public safety for the people in Central Florida.”
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