Despite the state’s booming tax revenues and substantial federal aid, DeSantis vetoed approximately $510 million from the approved $117 billion budget, a move that has raised eyebrows.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has drawn criticism for his recent budget cuts, which included slashing funding for Black history projects and gun violence prevention programs
The governor’s decision to cut funding for Black history programs has sparked concern. While the amount cut was relatively small, it begs the question of why any funding would be reduced in this area. DeSantis has previously demonstrated his opposition to initiatives he perceives as “woke,” and his veto of an event featuring “1619” in its name, despite its unrelated theme, reflects this stance. Conservatives who prefer a more sanitized version of history, free from uncomfortable discussions about racial oppression, have often criticized Nikole Hannah-Jones’ Pulitzer Prize-winning work, The 1619 Project.
Furthermore, DeSantis’s reduction in funding for basic Black history education, including programs that celebrate Black music and highlight the atrocities committed against Black people, is disheartening. While he claims not to be against Black history as a whole, only deeming certain aspects as “divisive,” the reality is that Black history inherently challenges the pro-white oppression narrative, which some find uncomfortable. The implication is that Black history is viewed as inherently “woke” and therefore divisive.
DeSantis vetoed $5 million in funding that had been secured by state Democrats for organizations working to prevent community gun violence
This move coincided with the passage of a law by GOP lawmakers allowing concealed carry without a permit. Critics have noted that while DeSantis reduced spending in certain areas, he increased funding for conservative-approved education initiatives. These budget cuts were unnecessary, given the state’s favorable financial situation, with booming tax revenues and substantial federal aid resulting in record reserves of $15.3 billion.
The pattern of DeSantis prioritizing spending on ideological indoctrination aligned with conservative views while cutting funds for Black history and anti-gun violence programs raises concerns. It suggests that, like many Republicans, he is willing to allocate funds to colleges and universities as long as the “indoctrination” aligns with their preferred ideology.