Ag News Today
ALERT! GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS VETOES FLORIDA 4-H FUNDING! He also vetoed a few programs that affect FFA, –some IFAS programs vetoed too.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis just signed what is touted as the largest spending package in Florida history $90.9 Billion, but he also utilized his veto pen in a surprising way. At the bottom of article is the full veto list in PDF format.
The Biggest surprise was the line item veto of Florida 4-H who had requested a little over $1.9 million. The Florida Legislature approved $750,000, but Governor Ron DeSantis line item vetoed to ZERO.
Line 149 Project 9 IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Science) - STEM, Workforce & 4-H Programs - was vetoed
Let me insert here Florida 4-H is funded Federally, State and via County – although some smaller counties with a 4-H office are dependent on the State.
Let’s look deeper into the 4-H funding veto:
Florida 4-H had requested a little over $1.9 million dollars – “ $1,273,200 – an annual increase to our capacity fund to support faculty and staff positions, $170,000 in annual program support, $500,000 ( 1 time) camp renovations. “
The Florida Legislature decreased their request to $750,000 which was thankfully more than last year’s $500,000. But as you can see, the Governor didn’t even approve the $750,000.
Throughout this Legislative season my sources were concerned, as they told me the numbers did not seem balanced to those in Government.While we all know that salaries are a big bite out of any program, even businesses – the ratio of salary to programs was an issue. $1,273,200 for faculty and staff and only $170,000 for programs. The need for camp renovations was understood but they felt the private sector should be helping out the camps in a bigger way.
This Governor often states he looks at things from a “practical” standpoint. As a result, we do NOT need to be writing him angry letters about line item vetoing 4-H. But, Florida 4-H DID need help with funding. The $750,000 allocated by the Legislature WAS needed. Florida 4-H will be seeing affects due to this veto.
As a result, we MUST lay the foundation for next year’s budget, as this year's is signed. If the Governor does not hear from any of us , he will assume we are ok with the line item veto. Adult 4-H Alumni AND youth need to write. Remember–NO angry letters – but we MUST write the Governor that we are disappointed he vetoed Florida 4-H and explain why the program is important to your children ( with photos) Not just livestock youth need to write, but youth involved in robotics, cooking, military 4-H and the many other programs 4-H is involved with. Alumni need to write how being in 4-H as a youth, impacts their lives as adults. We need to respond NOW and start educating NOW for next year. I repeat, If the Governor does not hear disappointment from any of us , he will assume we are ok with the line item veto. Florida 4-H DID need the help with funding.
Here is his address
Office of Governor Ron DeSantis
State of Florida
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
NEXT –Florida 4-Hers MUST also write their State Legislators that while you are disappointed in the Governor's line item veto you appreciate the Legislature for putting Florida 4-H in the proposed budget. They tried – we need to thank them for their efforts so they will try again next budget year in 2020.
A FINAL BUT EXTREMELY IMPORTANT STEP IS : 4-Hers MUST educate NOW your County Commissioners – thank your County Commissioners for supporting 4-H in YOUR county ( remember part of Florida 4-H funding comes from your County) County budgets are due October 1st. You MUST visit and/or or send them letters with photos – so that the fact the State of Florida veto of 4-H does not influence decisions by your County Commissions. Your job is to update on the positives that your club is doing – so they can see their County dollars at work. Do NOT bring up the veto- keep their focus on the positives 4-H does for THEIR county.
NOW FOR SOME OTHER SURPRISING VETOES BY THE FLORIDA GOVERNOR
Line 113 Project 47 Next Generation Agriculture Education Programs in Florida
Line 113 Project 48 Next Generation Agriculture Education Student
The above two programs were designed to help grow Ag education and FFA in Florida
Line 116A Project 1 Academy at the Farm School Growth and Infrastructure Expansion
Line 27A Project 1 Hernando Schools Vocational Program
Line 149 Project 3 IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Science) - Center for Landscape Ecology
Here is the FULL list from the Florida Government website.
AWARD WINNING JOURNALIST
Stephanie Collins - formerly Farmer
Ag Journalist of the Year by Florida Farm Bureau
Florida FFA Honorary Degree
Florida Friend of 4-H
Florida 4-H Hall of Fame Nominee
and many other awards!
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