DeSantis calls for $1,000 bonus for first responders

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling for monetary bonuses for first responders.

In a Tuesday afternoon news conference, the governor announced budget recommendations for funds Florida is set to receive from the federal government. Among the recommendations is a one-time bonus for first responders.

“We know that the pandemic put an awful lot of strain on our first responders — EMTs, sworn law enforcement, firefighters — so we believe that we should recognize their sacrifice over the last year,” DeSantis said. “So I’m proposing a one-time $1,000 bonus payment to all first responders, fire, sworn law enforcement, EMTs.”

DeSantis said the proposal would amount to $208.4 million.

If the recommendation is approved, the funds would be administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity in partnership with other employment agencies.

“We want to fund this in this current fiscal year so we can get those payments out as quickly as possible,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis said he plans to send a letter to the Speaker and the Senate President outlining his recommendations. He said it is not clear exactly how much money Florida will receive and believes it may be between $9-10 billion. He said his recommendations would account for $4.1 billion.

Other expenditures he recommended include $73.2 million to modernize and improve the unemployment system, $56.6 million to help with the Reemployment Assistance program, and $260 million in relief for seaports.

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