Calling Florida an economic powerhouse and “the freest state in these United States” Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered his State of the State remarks at the opening of the Florida legislative session for 2022 on Jan. 11. He also laid out his legislative goals for the new session.
According to DeSantis, in December 2021 the state’s revenues came in at $500 million over the latest monthly estimate. In addition, Florida’s labor force increased six times faster than the nation’s, and new business starts grew by 14,000.
“This is all being done with no income tax and the lowest tax burden in the United States, ” DeSantis said.
He told lawmakers that his 2022 recommended $99.7 billion budget seeks to capitalize on the state’s economic health by asking for the revenue to continue bonuses for teachers and first responders and for sign-on bonuses for law enforcement personnel who either relocate to Florida or begin their careers here. He also wants revenue to respond to federal border policies.
“I am also requesting funds so that when the feds dump illegal aliens in Florida, the state can reroute them to states that have sanctuary policies,” DeSantis said.
In fact, DeSantis called out the Biden Administration’s border policy as well as its COVID-19-related mandates including masking and vaccination requirements as strategies that diminish American’s individual rights.
“Our constitutional rights have been under assault on a number of fronts and Florida has stood tall in defending the rights of its people,” DeSantis said. “In Florida, we have protected the right of our citizens to earn a living, provided our businesses with the ability to prosper, fought back against unconstitutional federal mandates, and ensured our kids have the opportunity to thrive – Freedom works.”
Meanwhile, in his address to the legislature, Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) advised lawmakers to be mindful of their responsibilities to their constituents.
“It’s been said that ‘with great power comes great responsibility,’” Simpson said. “I look forward to the work ahead this session, and if we work together, we can keep Florida a beacon of hope, opportunity, and freedom for generations to come.”
Florida’s regular 2022 legislative session continues through March 11.