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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

florida governor ron desantis stock image associated press speech

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

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.

“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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