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Gov. Ron DeSantis questions Florida's share of federal infrastructure dollars

'Is Florida being treated well in this?' governor asks
Posted at 5:32 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 17:32:59-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida's governor thinks the state's share of President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan is unfair.

Tuesday morning, the Republican doubled down on his criticism of the recently passed $1.2 trillion policy -- which is set to provide the state with billions in aid.

After calling the federal legislation "pork-barrel spending" on Monday, DeSantis questioned whether Florida's $19.1 billion was fair compared to other states like New York ($26.9 billion) and New Jersey ($13.5 billion).

Gov. Ron DeSantis, news conference Nov. 9, 2021
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks about the federal allocation of money from the recently passed infrastructure bill during a news conference in Spring Hill, Fla. on Nov. 9, 2021.

He had made similar attacks on COVID-19 relief dollars, saying the state was "punished" for having lower jobless numbers. That's despite federal funds helping bolster Florida's current budget with an extra $10 billion.

"Is Florida being treated well in this?" DeSantis said while speaking at a news conference in Spring Hill. "Or, are they basically funneling money to a bunch of very, very high tax and dysfunctional states?"

The White House has pushed back on DeSantis' comments. Officials said, like COVID-19, infrastructure funds are divided based on need.

Gina McCarthy, White House National Climate Adviser, Nov. 9, 2021
Gina McCarthy says the funds are being divided to the state based on need.

"We promised to do a bipartisan infrastructure bill, and we got it done," said Gina McCarthy, White House National Climate Adviser. "This is a significant amount of money. You might want to barter or argue about how it's allocated, but it's going to make a huge difference in every state and every community."

Florida's biggest allotments:

  • $1.2 billion for airports
  • $1.6 billion on clean water
  • $2.6 billion for public transportation
  • $13.1 billion for roads

Biden has yet to sign the policy. White House officials said earlier this week it would likely happen when Congress returns next week.