DeSantis criticizes federal COVID relief bill as ‘bailout for blue states’

Gov. Ron DeSantis talks to reporters on Wednesday from Sumterville, Fla. (Copyright 2020 by WPLG - All rights reserved.)

SUMTERVILLE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill’s methodology on state allocations has turned it into a “bailout for blue states.”

DeSantis said Florida is getting penalized and he feels that is “fundamentally unfair.” He said that instead of allocating the funds on a per capita basis, the state’s population, the allocation is based on unemployment.

“They are taking away from states like Florida that have lower unemployment, and they are giving more to states like New York and California that have higher unemployment,” DeSantis said. “The problem is they have higher unemployment because they are not letting people work.”

DeSantis said the policy is punishing states that are “doing a better job” during the coronavirus pandemic and rewarding “poorly managed” states.

DeSantis also said the methodology has assured that Florida will receive about $2 billion less than if the population would have been the determining factor.

“This thing has massive amounts of waste on it that they are passing,” DeSantis said.

Sen. Rick Scott sent an open letter to governors and mayors across the country urging them to commit to “reject and return” any federal funding in excess of their federally-reimbursable COVID-19 related expenses.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava released a statement saying the passage of the American Rescue Plan will provide local governments with needed support and help accelerate economic recovery.

“This historic piece of legislation will equip communities including ours with critical resources to aggressively expand our vaccination campaign, safely reopen schools, and continue delivering essential services like policing and fire rescue,” Levine Cava said.

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About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.