PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Citing inflation and higher gas prices, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he’s giving first responders another round of bonuses.
The governor was in Ponte Vedra Beach on Thursday to make the announcement.
Like last year, all first responders in the state -- fire and police -- will receive $1,000.
Officer Ricardo Ranger with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was among those from various law enforcement agencies in Northeast Florida who were with DeSantis as he made the announcement about the bonuses. For Ranger, the $1,000 will go a long way.
“It means a lot,” Ranger said. ‘Like the sheriff, like the governor said, inflation is just crazy. I have four kids, two kids at home, and a wife, and we went to Walmart like a couple weeks ago to get groceries and we spent over $600, so yeah, it’s getting up there. Hey, the bonus, it puts food on the table.”
The bonuses were recently passed by the Florida Legislature and the governor signed them into law. The state will spend about $100 million on making it happen.
DeSantis says the bonuses help retain police and also attract more officers, emergency medical technicians and firefighters to the state.
“The better the morale, the more the community is supporting law enforcement, the more that we have good laws that promote public safety, the safer for our communities are going to be,” DeSantis said.
No date has been set for when those bonuses will be sent out, but it will happen sometime this year.
Last week, DeSantis was touting that teachers will be getting more money this year -- pay raises were approved by the Legislature, as well.
The governor also used the time in Ponte Vedra Beach to criticize President Joe Biden and the current state of the economy and the gas prices.