FL - Florida Governor Proposed $258 Million in Relief for Ports
After repeated calls for relief, Florida’s seaports which were hit hard by the pandemic may finally receive some government assistance to make up for their massive shortfalls in revenues over the past year.
Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis sent a proposal to the Florida legislature for COVID-19 relief for the ports under the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Under the federal legislation signed into law by President Joe Biden, $195 billion of the total $1.9 trillion is allocated to a state and local recovery fund. The funds are to be proportioned based on unemployment levels in each state and while the specifics are not finalized, Florida might receive as much as $10 billion. In addition, local Florida governments might receive as much as $7 billion.
DeSantis proposed to the legislature that $1.4 billion be allocated for immediate use in the state and in total he outlined $4.1 billion for state programs for economic development, infrastructure, and the workforce over the next three years. Included in the transportation work program is $258 million in supplemental funding for Florida’s seaports.
"One of the areas of Florida that's been hardest hit throughout the pandemic has been our seaports," said DeSantis. The monies he is proposing for the seaports are equal to the lost revenues since the start of the pandemic.
“On behalf of the state’s 15 deep-water seaports, the Florida Ports Council extends tremendous gratitude to Governor DeSantis for recommending critical relief funds for Florida’s ports as they continue to deliver necessities to businesses and consumers,” said Florida Ports Council President & CEO Doug Wheeler in a statement responding to the governor’s proposal.