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Legislation would give Governor money for declared emergencies

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Proposed legislation would give Gov. DeSantis $1 billion to spend in order to respond to declared states of emergencies including hurricanes, wildfires, and pandemics including the one connected to COVID-19. A similar measure proposed during the last state legislative session was passed by legislators but was later vetoed on grounds that the revenue would be derived from federal stimulus funds.

Filed in December by Sen. Danny Burgess (R-Zephyrhills), CS/SB 96 would create the Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund and allow the Legislative Budget Commission to transfer or appropriate funds for use by the Governor during declared emergencies. The legislation also authorizes the Governor to request that additional revenue be transferred to the Fund pending approval by the Legislative Budget Commission.

CS/SB96 was approved by the Senate’s Appropriations Committee on Jan. 12 by a 9-7 vote.

It is now under consideration by the full Florida Senate.

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