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Here's Some Of The South Florida Programs And Groups Cut In DeSantis' Budget Vetoes

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Al Diaz
Miami Herald

In the midst of a historic economic downturn due to COVID-19, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a state budget on Monday that included over $1 billion in vetoes.

The full list of vetoed items can be found here. WLRN’s reporters have dug through the itemized list to identify some of the most notable programs and organizations that have had state revenues cut in South Florida. 

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DeSantis said last week that despite pressure on the budget and the need to make cuts elsewhere, he would make room for a $500 million teacher pay raise, which is reflected in the final budget. The raise brought Florida from one of the worst states for teacher starting salaries, to one of the best paying states.

DeSantis also made good on a campaign promise to advance restoration of the Everglades, approving $322 million for a project that will mark it's 20th anniversary in December. While he slashed many small septic conversion and local stormwater improvement projects, he approved $303 million for other water issues.

The vetoes announced on Monday include $28 million in slashed funding for infectious disease treatment across the entire state, along with more localized things like mental health, police and infrastructure projects. Everywhere from Key West to West Palm Beach is impacted.

Not included are many municipal drainage projects that are receiving state funds.

Statewide Cuts

Infectious Disease Drug Treatment - $28 million cut from a statewide fund, particularly notable during a pandemic

State Emergency Operations Center - $3.5 million cut from the state’s main emergency operations center, which local agencies rely on heavily, especially during hurricane season

Mental Health

South Florida Behavioral Network - $4 million cut from the network, which serves Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys

Guidance Care Center - $300,00 cut from the center, which serves the Florida Keys - money was to go for upgrades receiving patients admitted via the Baker Act


Miami-Dade Homeless Trust - $250,000 cut from the agency's  “residential services” budget.

North Miami Food Pantry - $100,000 cut from the pantry, which strictly serves residents of North Miami, as WLRN has reported

Broward County HIV Test and Treat Program - $800,000 cut, especially notable since Broward has the third highest HIV infection rate in the entire nation, according to the Florida Department of Health

Exchange Club - $150,000 cut from a program that offers prevention services for child abuse in Palm Beach and Broward Counties

Community Health of South Florida - $250,000 cut from the Children’s Crisis Center, which serves South Dade in particular

211 Palm Beach Treasure Coast - $250,000 cut from the South Florida Suicide Prevention and Crisis Intervention helpline 


Broward Sheriff’s Office - $500,000 cut from an expansion of the Real-Time Crime Center, a project started after the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018

Broward Sheriff’s Office - $250,000 cut from funds meant to address a backlog in cold cases and property crimes


The Underline - $1.5 million cut from multi-use trail in Miami-Dade that will run under the MetroRail from downtown Miami towards the city of South Miami

Biscayne Baywalk - $2 million cut from the planned walkway along the Biscayne Bay in Miami

Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority - $500,000 cut from the budget for a planned reverse osmosis water plant on Stock Island

Florida Keys Stewardship Act - $10 million cut from funds earmarked for water quality upgrades: stormwater, wastewater improvements and canal restoration

Coral Gables - $300,000 cut from the Department of Environmental Protection, which was meant to be used for canal dredging


Python-Detecting Drone - $500,000 cut from an allocation that was meant to buy the state an unmanned aerial vehicle with “near infrared” technology, to help identify and trap invasive pythons in the wild

Zoo Miami - $200,000 cut from a planned grant to help the zoo acquire additional property.

Kiwanis Club of Little Havana - $500,000 cut from the group that puts on Miami’s annual Calle Ocho festival

Daniel Rivero is a reporter and producer for WLRN, covering Latino and criminal justice issues. Before joining the team, he was an investigative reporter and producer on the television series "The Naked Truth," and a digital reporter for Fusion.
Jessica Bakeman is senior editor for news at WLRN, South Florida's NPR member station. Previously, Bakeman served as WLRN's education reporter for four years. Bakeman was awarded the 2020 Journalist of the Year award from the Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. Since moving to South Florida in 1989, she has worked for the Miami Herald, Solares Hill newspaper and the Monroe County Public Library.
Jenny Staletovich has been a journalist working in Florida for nearly 20 years.