Florida’s seaports scored a significant victory in the recently completed legislative session when lawmakers incorporated $250 million of the federal stimulus for seaport relief into the state budget. The relief funds stem from a recommendation from Governor Ron DeSantis, which also carried the support of Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault, Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant and ongoing economic impacts to Florida’s seaports. Cruise ships, along with the thousands of Floridians they employ, have been sidelined since the start of the pandemic, and as a result, Florida has lost an estimated 169,000 jobs and $23 billion in economic activity through 2020. The Florida Ports Council thanks Governor DeSantis, Secretary Thibault and legislative leadership for extending critical relief to Florida’s ports as they continue to deliver necessities to businesses and consumers.
Governor DeSantis is expected to soon sign the budget into law, and when that happens, we’ll share it with our members.