Governor Ron DeSantis likens upcoming budget cuts to the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones—lots of spending is going to die, including some of his own agenda items. The state has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue during the coronavirus pandemic and is expecting the outlook to get worse. State agencies will likely have to hold back a portion of their budgets.
“If you're prudent about it, there are ways you can make an impact, but we’re going to be outlining that very soon in terms of the budget over the next two weeks and so, I know you guys will want to be there for that. And we’ll see you then,” DeSantis told reporters Tuesday.
The governor’s job growth grant fund is also caput, though DeSantis is clear that he’s not planning to touch long-awaited state and teacher pay raises. He isn’t expecting lawmakers to come back to Tallahassee before the end of the year and says the state will use federal CARES Act money to plug some of its budget holes.
DeSantis Monday press conference comes amid a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the state in recent weeks.
The median age of people getting infected by the coronavirus has dropped from 65 to 37 in Florida, but DeSantis doesn’t believe the state needs to scale back its reopening efforts.
“Would shutting down the state stop some of the examples I’ve shown? I don’t think so. You have to have society function, to have a cohesive society, that’s the best way to deal with the impacts of the virus, but particularly when you have a virus that disproportionally impacts one segment of society—to suppress a lot of working-age people at this point, I don’t think would be very effective.”
DeSantis attributes recent increases to more testing in communities considered high-risk. That includes low-income and farming areas, nursing homes, and prisons.