DeSantis Funds Piney Point, Vetoes Other Local Projects

Todays News

Image courtesy USF: Aerial view of Dona Bay.

Southwest Florida received good and bad news when Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s budget into law and released a list of vetoed spending. The area will receive funding for major needs like $100 million to clean up Piney Point.

But DeSantis slashed $750,000 for a Venice water booster station, $500,000 for watershed restoration at Dona Bay and a number of other items the Florida Legislature had included in its budget.

Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, said greeted the news with mixed feelings. He had supported the Piney Point expenditure, funded through the federal American Rescue Plan. But DeSantis vetoed $250,000 designated for State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota’s Nursing Center of Excellence. He had other wins and losses big and small.

“Sorry to see SCF nursing not make it, but we will make a case for next year,” Boyd said.  He noted the budget did fund Longboat Key Wastewater force main, “which was very much needed,” but DeSantis vetoes a sea level rise assessment on Longboat Key.  “I suppose other competing needs around the state took priority over the Sea Level request.”

Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, had pushed for Venice and Dona Bay funding, as well as for $286,676 for equipment at the emergency operations center in Venice. But he expressed some optimism some of the spending could still be restored through a newly-established environmental trust fund.

“This was somewhat expected,” Gruters said of the vetoes. “With the creation of the new Trust Fund, these projects will be able to apply immediately for a [Department of Environmental Protection] grant and I will work with them to help them through the process. The funding is there and these are worthwhile projects so I expect them to get the funding that they require.”

Rep. Will Robinson noted the area had plenty of projects survive, including for a STEM program at Palm View K-8 school. That’s on top of the water spending secured.

“These are important regional projects that will have a lasting impact for years to come,” Robinson said. “In this budget, two important local water quality enhancement projects are funded— to help close Piney Point and to replace the existing force main that serves Longboat Key.”

Rep. Fiona McFarland, R-Sarasota, felt positive about getting funding for a performing arts center and other projects.

"From water quality and environmentally conscious development to early childhood court and job training for people with disabilities, we have so many important local projects in Sarasota that I was excited to advocate for in the budget," she said.

Image courtesy USF: Aerial view of Dona Bay.

« View The Thursday Jun 3, 2021 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Lawmakers Tout Session Accomplishments

Lawmakers Tout Session Accomplishments

Jacob Ogles | Jun 4, 2021

New Law Protects Nonprofits From Surprise Tax Bills

New Law Protects Nonprofits From Surprise Tax Bills

Jacob Ogles | May 24, 2021

Buchanan Files Ban on Slaughtering Horses for Meat

Buchanan Files Ban on Slaughtering Horses for Meat

Jacob Ogles | May 20, 2021

Special Session of Gaming in Florida Starts Today

Special Session of Gaming in Florida Starts Today

Jacob Ogles | May 17, 2021