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Gov. DeSantis Vetoes $18.7 Million from Tampa Bay Area Projects

Jun 21, 2019

Florida’s budget was made official Friday afternoon, but not before Gov. Ron DeSantis issued vetoes for 25 projects and programs specifically for the Tampa Bay region.

The final $91 billion budget was signed after DeSantis cut $131 million for projects across the state. That included more than $18.7 million in the Tampa Bay region.

DeSantis, who was raised in Pinellas County, addressed his vetoes at a news conference Friday, including $1.7 million for the University of South Florida Medical Center and $500,000 to Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.

DeSantis said he let his friend Clearwater Rep. Chris Sprowls know why he was cutting his funding request.

“He wanted a half million to renovate Ruth Eckerd in Pinellas County. I graduated high school at Ruth Eckerd. They have a foundation,” he said. “The state does not need to do that, so I made that known.

The full veto list included the following regional projects:

  • Hernando Schools Vocational Program                                                   $1,000,000
  • Ringling College - Cross College Alliance Center for Creativity       $500,000
  • Stetson University College of Law - Veterans Law Institute and Veterans Advocacy $250,000
  • Hernando County School District, School Hardening                         $1,000,000
  • Lake Wales Charter Schools - Hurricane Relief                                     $500,000
  • State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota Manatee Educational Television $439,500
  • Florida Polytechnic University Graduate Program Growth             $500,000
  • University of South Florida- St. Petersburg Joint Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies $200,000
  • University of South Florida Medical Center- Quality Medical School Education, Asset Inventory Management System Initiative (AIMS)                                                 $1,715,360
  • Inmate Mental Health Services Compliance at Contracted Facilities $340,948       
  • Grants And Aids To Local Governments And Nonstate Entities - Fixed Capital Outlay - Feeding Tampa Bay                                                                                                   $193,000
  • Grants And Aids To Local Governments And Nonstate Entities - Fixed Capital Outlay - Grants And Aids - Port Manatee Seagrass Mitigation At Perico                             $1,500,000
  • Grants And Aids To Local Governments And Nonstate Entities - Fixed Capital Outlay - Grants And Aids - Tampa Bay Watch - Shell Key Access And Water Quality $1,000,000
  • Grants And Aids To Local Governments And Nonstate Entities - Fixed Capital Outlay - Grants And Aid - Fort Meade Phosphorus Reduction                                               $200,000
  • FCO - HART Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Upgrade       $500,000
  • FCO - Palmetto Roadway and Drainage                                                  $481,000
  • FCO - Land O' Lakes US 41 Landscape Rehabilitation                         $1,000,000
  • Arcadia Boys and Girls Club Gym Renovation                                       $500,000
  • Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Master Site Plan                                $600,000
  • Centennial Park Restoration Project                                                        $1,000,000
  • SPCA Tampa Bay Shelter Expansion                                                         $250,000
  • Brooksville Replacement of Fire Trucks and Equipment                  $325,000
  • Dunedin EOC/Fire Training Facility                                                            $1,000,000
  • Ruth Eckerd Hall Expanding the Experience Campaign                     $500,000
  • Carter G. Woodson African American Museum                                  $250,000

Total:     $18,744,808