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DeSantis' Budget Includes Tax Cuts, More Money For Schools

Feb 1, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis' first proposed budget is calling for more money to be spent on schools and the environment in the coming year. At the same time, he's also asking for a small cut in taxes.

DeSantis has recommended a $91.3 billion budget that he wants state legislators to approve during their annual session that starts in March.

His first budget calls for boosting the amount spent on each public school student by 3 percent, or $224 more a year, to $21.7 billion. Some of that increased money - nearly $100 million - would go to school safety programs.

DeSantis said he wants to leave it up to each district to decide how they want to use that money.

"So we're going to say, this is what we recommend for school security, but we're not going to tell you necessarily how to do it because some people thought that they need more flexibility for that. So the districts will have more flexibility under what we're doing," he said.

DeSantis is asking for roughly $300 million in tax cuts, with most of it targeted to property owners. He's also proposing back-to-school and disaster preparedness tax holidays.

The governor wants to hold college tuition rates steady. He also did not recommend any across-the-board pay raises for state employees.

Lawmakers will take up the budget when their session starts March 5.