DeSantis puts veto power to work during state budget bill signing
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Governor Ron DeSantis signed the state budget bill this week but before he could get his pen to paper to solidify the upcoming fiscal year budget he used his line-item veto power.
DeSantis vetoed more than 100 items, and some of which impacted organizations and projects in both Manatee and Sarasota counties. But funding is also being allocated here.
“Funding for the humanities, so these are things like our museums and preserving our history and culture. Funding for a program called early childhood court, brought in some state dollars for Easter Seals also for Van Wezel,” said District 72 State Rep. Fiona McFarland.
One of the organizations on the Suncoast that received funds was the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, they will receive nearly $300,000 in funding from the state for their envisioned expansion of the Sarasota Performing Arts Center.
However, there is some criticism from people across of the community because of the move. The vice vresident of the Florida Taxwatch Group is one of those vocal critics.
He says the request should have gone through a competitive evaluation and prioritization process.
In a statement the CEO of the Van Wezel expressing her gratitude and saying “This funding is instrumental as we take the next step in our endeavors to create a world-class performing arts center that will enrich our community.”
Since news came out, there are others across social media that are wondering why performing arts received money over programs like the State College of Florida’s nursing program.
“It was funding I advocated for and I was sorry to see it vetoed. But in working with the governor he would like to see that as a part of their recurring budget and not a one-time infusion of cash,” said McFarland.
As for SCF, Brian Thomas, special assistant to the president said they’ll try again. “[We’re]working with our local delegation to expand our program this is just one year, next year we’ll be back with a better request moving forward,” he said.
Thomas says he’s happy they did get some funding for the college’s Science and Technology building in Venice. “Having the funding appropriated to build that building will be a huge step forward on our Venice campus,” he said.
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