On June 2, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022, benefiting organizations and projects across the state. The budget is ironed out by the state Legislature during its 60-day session, then goes to the governor, who has line-item veto power.
Although not everyone’s appropriation requests were granted, Hernando County reaped several allocations from appeals made to the governor and Legislature.
Total expenditures in what DeSantis dubbed the “Florida Leads” budget is $101.5 billion. Hernando County benefited by receiving more than $2 million toward several local organizations and projects.
However, the city of Brooksville was denied $107,000 to upgrade its council chambers and repurpose the room to also serve as an emergency operations center.
According to the appropriations request, signed by City Manager Mark Kutney, the reconfigured space would enable city personnel to respond from a centralized location quickly and to scale while utilizing the space as an emergency operations center. It would bring the emergency response team together to respond faster, make better decisions, and manage and provide resources effectively.
“The existing room accommodates council meetings and other local board and advisory council meetings utilizing the existing technology which is considerably out of date,” Kutney stated in the request. “In order to function dually as the council chambers/emergency operations command center, reconfiguration of the existing dais as well installation of advanced up-to-date technology, including additional monitors, sound system, phones, connectivity and software is needed.”
Meanwhile, Pasco-Hernando State College was denied $1 million to support the operations of the new Instructional and Performing Arts Center in Wesley Chapel.
Other organizations did secure large sums, including $900,000 to K9 Partners for Patriots, a service dog-training program for veterans and service members, for a new building; $350,000 for a new criminal justice program at Nature Coast Technical High School; $1.1 million to build a new life skills center for The Arc Nature Coast in Brooksville; and $3.5 million for a new building for the Pace Center for Girls.