Fla. governor proposes $1K bonuses for first responders

The one-time payments are part of Gov. Ron DeSantis' proposal for spending Florida's share of American Rescue Plan funds


By Laura French

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed $1,000 bonuses for first responders as part of his plan for distributing Florida's share of American Rescue Plan funds. 

DeSantis announced his fiscal year 2021-22 recommendations on Tuesday, including his proposals for the estimated $10 billion in federal stimulus funds Florida is expected to receive, according to FOX 35. Among his proposals was a one-time $1,000 payment for first responders. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed $1,000 bonus payments to first responders as part of the state's distribution of American Rescue Plan funds.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed $1,000 bonus payments to first responders as part of the state's distribution of American Rescue Plan funds. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

"We know that the pandemic put an awful lot of strain on our first responders — EMTs, sworn law enforcement, firefighters — so, we believe we should recognize their sacrifice over the last year," DeSantis said during a press conference, according to FOX 35. "I'm proposing a one-time, $1,000 bonus payment to all first responders." 

DeSantis said the bonuses would cost a total of about $280.4 million. DeSantis also proposed $1 billion for a new emergency management response fund and $72 million for behavioral health management, among other recommendations. 

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is expected to provide a total of about $360 billion in direct relief funds for state and local governments. The $1.9 billion stimulus package also includes approximately $440 billion to support struggling communities in protecting the jobs of first responders and healthcare workers from layoffs, and a plan to hire 100,000 workers to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. Exact details about the distribution of the relief funds have yet to be confirmed. 

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