Ron DeSantis Hands Out $1,000 Checks To First Responders

( Thanks to Florida’s largest surplus in record history, Governor Ron DeSantis traveled to Jacksonville last week to hand out $1,000 checks to the state’s first responders, according to Newsmax.

At a speech at the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, DeSantis thanked their service. “We know how hard you have been working,” DeSantis said. “We thought that last year, this was something appropriate to do to show that we support [you] and was something that I think a lot of people felt, is showing the state of Florida appreciates your service.”

The record surplus comes as a result of the governor’s refusal to shut down the state’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is what some other states did, resulting in a record number of business closures.

“We would be in dire straits if we listened to them, so we did the right thing,” he said.

“We will never do any of these lockdowns again, and I hear people say they’ll shut down the country, and honestly, I cringe,” DeSantis said in August 2020. “And at best, what the lockdown will do is delay. It does not reduce the ultimate mortality…it creates a lot of other problems with mortality that a lot of people don’t necessarily focus on.”

The bonus check will reportedly be out in the mail in the next two weeks to law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians after the state legislature approved the second round of bonuses to 100,000 first responders employed at the municipal and county levels as of May 1.

The bonus comes as the budget increases for these services. $125,000 was allocated for the program, including pay increases.

DeSantis’ critics claim that he is handing out payments as a way to bolster support ahead of his midterm election against Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, who DeSantis is currently leading in the polls. They also say that the money being used by DeSantis is coming from the Democratic American Rescue Plan, passed by Congress in 2021 after Republicans members of the state’s congressional delegation voted against it.