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Governor DeSantis details $91.4 billion budget plan

Here are his top priorities for 2020-2021.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled his budget recommendation for next year. He’s asking state lawmakers to cut a $91.4 billion check.

That’s $400 million more than the current budget, and the increase is designed to target several key areas. He detailed his budget recommendations on Monday morning in a series of tweets.

Education

The governor says spending more in the classroom is a top priority of his administration. He wants to increase state funding by more than $300 per student – and increase pay for new teachers.

RELATED: Florida governor proposes changes to teacher bonus program

Environment

During his first two days in office, DeSantis issued an executive order to ramp up everglades restoration and protect the rest of Florida’s water resources. Now, he’s calling on the legislature to keep funding the fight.

RELATED: New state website focuses on Florida’s water quality

Hurricane relief

Life for many people in the panhandle is still a daily struggle more than a year after Hurricane Michael flattened Mexico Beach. The governor’s budget recommendation calls for money to help people who have slipped through the cracks. He also wants $1.9 billion in overall hurricane preparedness.

RELATED: Tropical disturbance sees 50-percent chance of development

Health care

Opioids – and the battle against the growing epidemic – are at the center of the governor’s budget request for Florida’s health and human services. He also wants $25 million for mental health initiatives in schools, $75 million for school security and $4.7 million to implement the country’s first Statewide Behavioral Threat Assessment strategy.

RELATED: FDA issues warning to Dollar Tree for receiving 'potentially unsafe drugs'

Affordable housing

Unemployment is low – but for a lot of Floridians, it’s still not easy to pay the bills. Housing often takes the biggest bite out of a family’s budget, so DeSantis wants Tallahassee to help.

RELATED: More affordable housing is coming to Hillsborough County

Election security

With the 2020 election just about one year away, the governor is asking lawmakers to ramp up election security. He wants more oversight at the ballot box – and online.

RELATED: President Trump said he's 'strongly considering' testifying in impeachment hearings

The Legislature will approve a budget during the annual session that begins Jan. 14, 202, but DeSantis doesn't have to accept it as-is. He has the power to veto individual items in the budget.

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