Gov. Ron DeSantis’ more than $1 billion in vetoes from the state budget Monday mostly spared Brevard County projects, with Florida Tech and Brevard Zoo taking among the biggest hits.
DeSantis signed the $92.2 billion state budget for 2020-21, which includes more than $350 million in tax relief and more than $1 billion in vetoed spending — another expected financial fallout from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The budget reflects “a steadfast commitment to Floridians by safeguarding important investments in key areas including education, the environment, infrastructure, public safety and more,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement.
“Despite the present challenges Florida faces due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget ensures the state’s priorities are protected and funded,” DeSantis said. “Our current economic landscape is vastly different since the Legislature passed this budget in March. As governor, I must remain a mindful steward of taxpayer dollars.”
Among the Brevard County projects that DeSantis vetoed were:
- $1.5 million — Florida Tech – (BAMx) Biomedical Aerospace Manufacturing Multiplier, for a facility to study biospacemedical technology;
- $500,000 — Brevard Zoo Aquarium (HB 2489) (Senate Form 1884);
- $300,000 — Space Maritime Access Feasibility Study (HB 9237) to study widening the locks at Port Canaveral.
“I don’t think it will kill the project,” Rep. Thad Altman, R-Indialantic,said of the Florida Tech BAMx project. “I think it will just have to wait another year.”
FIT was seeking the $1.5 million for a new equipment platform, the Biomedical Aerospace Manufacturing Multiplier, “as part of a multiyear effort at the university that would target the education of Florida’s next-generation workforce while also developing high-tech applications for use across key industries,” university officials said. The facility would focus on the biomedical, aerospace and manufacturing industries. It includes equipment for 3-D metal printing, composite fabrication, bio-tissue testing and more.
“The coronavirus pandemic has served to complicate the already difficult process of sound fiscal management, and we understand the budget challenges our elected officials face in response to the COVID-19 crisis,” Florida Tech President Dwayne McCay said in a prepared statement. “I appreciate the support of our legislators and am proud to say that Florida Tech will continue to help fuel the evolution and growth of the Sunshine State’s economy.”
Florida Tech’s $800,000…