Governor DeSantis signs groundbreaking school choice law
Florida’s nation-leading school choice legislation is now law, and the parents of millions of disadvantaged Florida children will have new opportunities to improve their children’s education and hopes for better lives. Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 7045 Tuesday, providing historic levels of educational opportunities through expanded eligibility for low-income students, and prioritizing military, foster, and adopted students.
“This legislation creates historical levels of flexibility in both schooling and educational services for millions of low-income families and families of students with unique abilities,” Governor DeSantis said.
“By giving parents increased options to choose the education that best meets their child’s needs, we are giving those students unlimited opportunity,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran.
Highlights of the ground-breaking law include:
- Increasing individual scholarship amounts to 100% of the state funding allocated to the child’s education, and expanding access to Florida’s scholarship programs for more families.
- Expanding the Family Empowerment Scholarship, lifting children in foster care, out-of-home care, or whose household income level does not exceed 185% of the federal poverty level.
- Giving military families the ability to maximize their school choice options.
- Expanding use of scholarship funds to cover the full spectrum of a student’s educational expenses, such as tuition and fees, and transportation to another public school, along with providing for special needs of students.
While Democrats challenge our enhanced election integrity laws, we are looking forward to 2022, gearing up with aggressive plans for voter registration and absentee ballot registration. Covid-related issues allowed Democrats to surpass us in absentee voting registration in 2020, and those will still be in effect for the 2022 cycle.
But we are organizing now to counter their advantage in that area by working with our county Republican Executive Committees and grassroots at the local level. More will be coming on this, including how everyone can get involved.
Governor DeSantis signed into law the largest investment in Florida’s history to prepare communities for rising sea levels and flooding. Senate Bill 1954 creates a coordinated approach to Florida’s coastal and inland resiliency and enhances efforts to protect inland waterways, coastlines, shores and coral reefs, which serve as invaluable natural defenses against sea level rise.
This bill and the 2021-2022 budget are part of the largest investment in the state’s history — more than $640 million — ensuring state and local communities are prepared to deal with the impacts of sea level rise, intensified storms and flooding.
The budget portion includes:
- $12.5 million for resilience projects and coral reef protection.
- $500 million in federal funding to implement statewide resilience projects through the Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan.
- $100 million for Resilient Florida Grant Program projects in partnership with local communities, beginning in 2022.
“Since day one, the resiliency of our state has been a top priority for my administration,” Governor DeSantis said.
Governor DeSantis urged the U.S. Army Corp to reduce harmful discharges to northern estuaries in its new Lake Okeechobee system operating manual. The Governor was joined by Florida DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein and the South Florida Water Management District Board of Directors on a visit to Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers. The visit came as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalizes a new water control manual.
The Governor urged the U.S. Army Corps to improve lake management to create more beneficial releases and send more water south during Florida’s dry season, and allow flexibility to avoid harmful discharges in Florida’s northern estuaries.
“In Florida, we are doing our part to expedite Everglades restoration projects and restore the flow of water south from Lake Okeechobee. Under my administration, we have expedited the EAA Reservoir Project, begun constructing the Stormwater Treatment Area 12 months ahead of schedule, and invested over $2 billion in water quality and Everglades funding,” Governor DeSantis said.
Governor DeSantis is honoring Florida’s law enforcement officers this week by lighting the Florida Historic Capitol blue during National Police Week. National Police Week recognizes those who protect our nation and the State of Florida, and those who have made the supreme sacrifice with their lives to protect the freedom of others and preserve law and order in our communities.
“In Florida, we stand behind our police officers who protect our freedoms and defend our society – putting themselves in harm’s way to keep our people safe and our businesses secure,” Governor DeSantis said. “This week we honor them for always responding to those in need.”
Governor DeSantis announced that more than $111 million has been awarded to 22 communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. The Rebuild Florida General Infrastructure Repair Program is designed to provide funding for local governments to strategically rebuild and harden infrastructure in order to prevent or reduce losses from future disasters.
“Hurricane Michael caused catastrophic damage to Northwest Florida and we remain one-hundred percent committed to helping these communities rebuild and recover stronger than before,” Governor DeSantis said.
Governor Ron DeSantis
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
Governor DeSantis continues to receive praise from Floridians for his management through the pandemic. Florida parents, nurses, small business owners, educators, hospitality workers and cruisers are applauding the Governor’s leadership.
You can read them here: