Senator Calls DeSantis’ Flood, Other Project Veto Political Retaliation 2023

Florida At least one Republican asserts that the governor’s veto of flood control and other measures in central and western Florida was in retaliation for his support of the governor’s rival in the 2024 presidential election.

According to the Orlando Sentinel and other news sites, State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, stated that DeSantis “took it out on Sarasota County” after Gruters endorsed former President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination next year.

Gruters told the newspaper and Politico news site that such “mean-spirited” actions have come to define DeSantis in the views of the public.

Sen. Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) lamented the lack of flood-related funds.

The line-item veto of $15 million in projects, according to DeSantis, was fiscally responsible, and the state’s $117 billion budget includes other investments in infrastructure, public safety, and environmental requirements. His veto list was shorter than in previous years, but it included projects from across the state, as reported by news outlets.

The list of vetoed projects includes flood mitigation projects in Orange County, Seminole County, Kissimmee, Winter Park, and Osceola County, as well as water, drainage, and other projects in Sarasota and other counties.

The veto comes as some studies predict more precipitation and storm flooding for portions of Florida in the coming years, following widespread flooding caused by Hurricane Ian in the fall.

After the Federal Emergency Management Agency introduced a controversial new risk rating system last year, flood insurance premiums have risen for many residents while falling for others.

Florida is one of ten states that have filed suit against FEMA this month in an effort to stop the use of Risk Rating 2.0 in National Flood Insurance Program policies.

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