A Billion Dollars IS a LOT of money……
Even in Florida….
Especially for guy running for re-election and probably for President in 3 years….
Nice sized ‘slush’ fund , eh?
Senators revived a proposal Wednesday to create a $1 billion fund that Gov. Ron DeSantis could use at his discretion during emergencies he declares.
The Senate Appropriations Committee backed a pair of bills (SB 96 and SB 98), sponsored by Sen. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, to set up an “Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund” so the governor wouldn’t have to wait for the Joint Legislative Budget Commission to convene to approve spending.
The proposals are ready to go to the full Senate. Lawmakers approved a similar proposal last year, but it was vetoed after questions were raised about using federal stimulus dollars for the fund. In this year’s proposal, Burgess would shift the money from the state general revenue fund….
Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-North Miami Beach, called the proposal “scary” and suggested limiting the use of the money to within Florida. He also questioned if money could be used for something like immigration enforcement, a priority of DeSantis.
“This is not fiscally responsible at all,” Pizzo said. “And until someone tells me where it’s going and what it’s for, and what the cost is, you have to be a no. You’re spending a billion dollars of your constituents’ money. We don’t know where it’s going or what it’s for.”
The Joint Legislative Budget Commission, made up of House and Senate members, can make mid-year budget changes, though it does not meet frequently.
The proposed pool of money for emergencies would be separate from the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund, which is considered a “rainy day” fund, with anticipation that any money spent during an emergency would be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency….