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FL - Florida Gov. DeSantis Wants to Spend $1 Billion to Address Coastal Flooding and Climate-Change Impacts

DeSantis released the environmental spending priorities Thursday as part of a $96.6 billion overall budget proposal.

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to spend $25 million next year and more in coming years to set up a program that would help address coastal flooding and other climate-change impacts across the state.

Money for the proposed Resilient Florida grant program would be in addition to $625 million that DeSantis is seeking from lawmakers to continue Everglades restoration efforts and other water-related projects. DeSantis has sought and received money for those projects the past two years.

DeSantis released the environmental spending priorities Thursday as part of a $96.6 billion overall budget proposal for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The proposal is a starting point as lawmakers prepare to negotiate a 2021-2022 budget during the legislative session that will start in March.

The Resilient Florida program would include issuing bonds to help provide $1 billion over four years to state and local agencies to address climate impacts. The $25 million in the 2021-2022 budget would be used to help finance the bonds, with the amount increasing each year until it reaches $100 million in the 2024-2025 fiscal year, according to summaries released Thursday by DeSantis’ office.

“The purpose of this is to tackle the challenges posed by flooding intensified storm events, sea-level rise,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis’ requests came after legislative leaders have repeatedly warned of budget cuts because of shortfalls stemming from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

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