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Gainesville commissioners discuss state budget vetoes, ordinance changes

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Lobbyists for the City of Gainesville presented $780,000 worth of city projects in the legislative session for 2021.

“The Governor exercised his Gubernatorial right with the veto pen,” said Lobbyist Ryan Matthews.

Out of the three projects passed through the session, only one made it onto the state budget. The Nspire Interrupters Program meant to combat violent crimes in the community. The Eastside Transit Station and Community Resource Paramedic Resource fund were nixed from the budget.

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“I just have to point out that the two items that were vetoed tend to be focused on helping our more vulnerable neighbors and tend to be focused specifically in helping residents in the Eastern portion of the city,” said Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe. “Whereas the item that was approved is in the western part of unincorporated Alachua county.”

Despite the two city of Gainesville projects that were vetoed by Governor Ron DeSantis, Gainesville city commissioner David Arreola said they can switch focus and work on securing state funds for the job force.

“It’s just another year where Tallahassee pretends to care about small government but it’s really big government,” added Arreola.

Bills signed into law by DeSantis will alter a number of local ordinances including building codes, public works and waste management. Arreola said these changes limit home rule for local governments but mentioned a silver lining.

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“There’s really good funding for the job growth fund and I think there’s a really good opportunity,” mentioned Arreola. “People want more job training and people are trying to get back to work so I think we can succeed by applying for some money there. We can get some help with some of our partners because everyone is looking to hire.”

Staffers with the city attorney’s office are to review the new laws and update city ordinances to present to the commission in a future meeting.

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