DeSantis Signs Budget in Tampa, Trashes Trans Ruling, Amendment 3

TAMPA -- Governor Ron DeSantis used a downtown Tampa bridal venue to sign the state budget.

While putting pen to paper at the Vault on Franklin Street Wednesday, DeSantis also crossed out about a billion dollars in spending through line-item vetoes. The governor says this year's budget is slightly smaller than last year's, at $116.5 billion. "I told the speaker... we want to hold the line."

DeSantis says the budget includes historic support for education, conservation and transportation infrastructure. He also points to money earmarked for teacher salaries, as well as support for nursing programs at Florida colleges. The governor also points to tax relief, including sales tax holidays, and the second year of the toll relief program for commuters.

The governor also took questions from reporters. DeSantis declared that a ruling by Northern District of Florida federal judge Robert Hinkle blocking the ban on what supporters describe as "gender-affirming care" for minors will be overturned. DeSantis says it's right to spend taxpayer money to defend the law because "it's wrong to mutilate minors... it is wrong to perform a sex change on a 16-year-old!" DeSantis says the Florida law is like one in Alabama that has already been upheld by the 11th District Court of Appeals. "This will be reversed, there's no question it'll be reversed!," DeSantis said.

The governor also talked about efforts by his political action committee to defeat Amendment 3 at the polls. He says legalized recreational marijuana would leave the state smelling of weed. DeSantis says people would be able to carry "20 joints to an elementary school" because the amendment as written doesn't allow any civil or criminal penalties for marijuana use. Other targets for the governor's PAC include school board races and the state attorney's contests in Tampa and Orlando.

Photo: Getty Images

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