DeSantis’ proposed budget has $1 million for Keys, with money for reef restoration

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposed $91.3 billion budget includes almost $1 million so far for Florida Keys-specific items, according to an initial review of the document.

However, the final budget is likely to include millions of dollars more for the Keys when the final version is passed by the Legislature, according to Julio Rodriguez, legislative aide to state Rep. Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo.

“We have about 18 appropriations requests that we have until Tuesday to file, and the number is in the millions,” Rodriguez said Friday.

Last year’s $88.7 billion budget included $15 million for affordable housing initiatives alone, as well as $5 million for the Keys complying with the Area of Critical State Concern development requirements mandating the state sign off on significant building projects.

The proposed budget, which DeSantis titled “Bold Vision for a Brighter Future,” includes more money for Everglades restoration projects, changes in how teachers are rewarded and improvements to the state’s transportation infrastructure.

The governor’s office is recommending $277,650 for “Monroe County Reef Protection,” according to a summary of the budget released Friday. Specifics about what that money would cover were not available.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis AL DIAZ adiaz@miamiherald.com

The Monroe Association for Remarkable Citizens, a nonprofit advocating for special needs adults in the Keys, would receive $100,000 if the Legislature approves DeSantis’ recommendations.

DeSantis proposed $100,000 for executive director support services for county government leadership, and $250,000 for Florida Keys Community College.

The Florida Keys Area Health Education Center, a social services nonprofit located in the Middle Keys city of Marathon, would also receive $250,000, according to the budget summary.

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