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Gov. Ron DeSantis officially announces $1,000 bonuses for first responders

"Some want to defund the police. We're funding the police and then some," the governor said.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will soon sign into law $1,000 bonuses for every law enforcement officer, firefighter, EMT, and paramedic in the state.

The governor made the announcement Wednesday at the Satellite Beach Police Department.

DeSantis thanked law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifice throughout the pandemic. He called the way police officers were treated last year a "total disgrace," referencing racial justice protests that erupted across the country.

"Some want to defund the police. We're funding the police and then some," the governor said.

DeSantis added that the bonuses will go into effect when he signs the state's budget, which was passed by Florida lawmakers in April during the state's legislative session.

The governor first proposed the idea of payments for first responders in March among a list of recommendations on how to use Florida's federal relief funds.

DeSantis was joined by Satellite Beach Police Chief Jeff Pearson, who praised the governor's passage of HB 1, Florida's "anti-riot" bill.

The bill expands who can be charged as a felon during protests and gives law enforcement broader arresting powers. It also makes it harder for local governing bodies to “defund” the police. 

Gov. DeSantis emphasized his support of first responders Wednesday afternoon at the Temple Terrace Fire Department.

The governor was joined by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who praised DeSantis' leadership throughout the pandemic.

DeSantis added that first responders should see the $1,000 bonus checks arriving throughout the summer, as it will take some time to review and approve the state's budget.

You can watch the full press conference below:

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