Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida did not get a full share of cash from the recently passed trillion-dollar infrastructure package. He criticized the bill as a whole, but also noted that Florida might not be getting the same amount as other states.
“So I’d like to know more about this,” DeSantis said Tuesday. “Is Florida being treated well in this? Or are they basically funneling money to a bunch of very, very high tax and dysfunctional states?”
DeSantis said Florida might be getting $20 billion, which in his view, seemed like a little compared to the size and scope of Florida’s population and economic output.
“One of the things that I am concerned about,” DeSantis said. “It seems like there is a disproportionate amount of money that is going to, like, New York and New Jersey. And that Florida’s not getting really a significant share. Out of like a trillion dollars, I mean, they’re saying we’re going to get like $20 billion? That’s not a lot compared to how big the state is.”
Florida’s congressional delegation was split over the package to begin with, largely along party lines.
“Robust investment in America’s crumbling infrastructure — safeguarding our drinking water, repairing our roads and bridges, upgrading our ports – is long overdue,” said Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), who is also a leading gubernatorial Democratic candidate challenging DeSantis. “With this blockbuster bill, we’re creating millions of good-paying jobs, investing in Florida’s future, and Building Back Better. This historic, bipartisan bill will also deliver new infrastructure for the 21st century: high-speed rail, solar-powered mass transit, and other innovations that will reduce traffic and protect the environment. It’s about delivering tangible results that will benefit day-to-day life for all Americans.”
Additionally, $100 million will go to getting Floridians to access to faster, high-speed internet. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), who is also running against DeSantis, touted all of the different components of the bill Florida will be receiving.
“It is clear, this is a big deal for Florida, the state as a whole, and our entire nation. Creating jobs and economic growth while building a safer more sustainable future,” Fried said.
However, Florida’s Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott voted against the bill. Their comments reflected much of the Republican criticism, that the hyper-spending by the President Joe Biden administration is leading to out-of-control inflation, higher gas prices, and shortages on the grocery shelves.
“I support investing in roads, bridges, broadband, and efforts to mitigate against sea level rise, and I hoped there would be a bill I could vote for,” said Rubio. “But this bill was negotiated in secret, rushed through the process without meaningful opportunities to have input, and adds a net increase … to the national debt. I can’t vote for a bill like that.”
Scott said his concern is that the bill was paid for, despite the national debt and deficit continuing to increase.
“The first thing they said, it was paid for. A complete lie all the way through,” Scott said. “It was never paid for.”
Republished with permission from the Florida Capital Star.