Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his $114.8 billion Framework for Freedom Budget on Wednesday aimed at keeping pace with the state’s explosive growth.
“Our budget proposal not only builds on the successes of the past four years, but ensures that Florida will continue to thrive,” DeSantis said.
Earlier this week, the governor unveiled a major transportation initiative that includes money for the widening of U.S. 301 in Sumter County. Local leaders have hailed that project as extremely important for growth and transportation.
“It is more important than ever to maintain our state’s economic momentum through targeted investments in programs that support the creation of good jobs for Floridians and promote key Florida industries like tourism,” the governor said.
His budget includes:
- $100 million for the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, which supports additional economic growth in Florida by providing local areas with funding for proposed public infrastructure and workforce training projects.
- $100 million to continue the vital state marketing and promotion efforts of VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation and a source of travel planning for visitors across the globe.
- $100 million to support broadband initiatives to expand high-speed internet deployment and access to Florida communities.
- $30 million for the Rural Infrastructure Fund to support projects such as roads, storm and wastewater systems, and telecommunications facilities.
His budget proposes four permanent tax cuts and more than 10 temporary tax cuts:
▪ A permanent sales tax exemption for baby and toddler necessities
- A permanent sales tax exemption for cribs and strollers
- A permanent sales tax exemption for over-the-counter pet medications
- A permanent sales tax exemption for gas stoves
- Temporary holidays on children’s books, children’s toys, children’s athletic equipment, certain household items and clothing, disaster preparedness items, outdoor recreation items, dental and oral hygiene products, pet food, hand and power tools, energy star appliances, and natural gas.
His budget also calls for an across-the-board 5 percent pay increase for all state employees and an increase for correctional officers to $23 per hour.