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Tampa Bay Loses Millions Due to DeSantis’ State Budget Cuts

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State Budget Cuts for Tampa

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slashed about $1 billion from the $116.5 billion 2024-25 budget he signed into law on Wednesday, cutting millions in proposed projects for the Tampa Bay area.

While many local lawmakers secured funding for their proposed projects, dozens were cut. Here are some of the projects DeSantis vetoed in the Tampa Bay area, including infrastructure improvements, affordable housing, and school safety initiatives.

The largest veto in the Tampa Bay area was a Bradenton project that requested $5 million. The city was also denied funding for a $2.2 million sewer improvement project. In Pinellas County, the cities of Madeira Beach, Oldsmar, and Safety Harbor collectively lost millions in road and water projects. The county’s request for $1 million to replace emergency generators was also denied.

The governor also slashed a $3 million “Affordable Homeownership Initiative” for Pinellas and Pasco counties.

DeSantis vetoed several items related to safety improvements. Hillsborough County requested $500,000 for ZeroEyes School Safety, a program that uses AI and surveillance cameras to identify visible guns and alert police. In St. Petersburg, Temple Beth-El requested $200,000 for a “security initiative”, but it was vetoed.

The University of South Florida secured tens of millions as part of its budget increase. However, a $3.9 million project to research opioid abuse and reduce drug use and overdose rates was slashed by DeSantis.

Additional projects cut included a Hillsborough County “Hunger Relief and Food Security Project” that requested just $66,842, a Zephyrhills “Septic to Sewer” project costing $1.55 million, and a Parkway Boulevard sidewalk project in Pasco County that requested about $585,000 in funding.

In Polk County, Polk State College and Southeastern University lost funds for building renovations and for a SEU program supporting students with intellectual disabilities, respectively.

In a news conference on Wednesday, DeSantis said he vetoed some items because local governments and organizations could access other funding sources. For the rest, he simply did not support the projects. Reported by WFLA.

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