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North Central Florida sees impact of proposed state budget

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 5:35 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -"Pretty much any economic hardship right now is going to tied to this pandemic," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said. "I mean, it's pervasively affected our economy."

COVID-19 has undoubtedly hurt our nation's economy, including here in Florida.

This prompted Gov. DeSantis to cut 1 billion dollars out of the proposed state budget.

That proposed budget could bring some big changes here to North Central Florida.

Of the things that made the cut comes Florida Gateway College getting more than 6 million dollars to build a STEM building.

The old facility, first built in the '60s, had to be demolished due to air quality issues in 2018.

FGC President Lawrence Barrett said, "Without it being vetoed by the governor...we have the money and starting today we are working with architects again—we have a shovel ready project."

The new building will cost 16 million dollars, with 6 million of the project still needing fundraising.

"One of the things that we promised to our delegation was that we will fundraise or borrow the rest of the money, so they're actually is about another 6 million dollar project that we still need to get it done," he said. "We are planning on raising probably about 1- to 2-million and probably borrowing or drawing from our reserves to do the rest."

And a new 39 million dollar school project got funding in Bradford County.

But, some other local budget items were not as fortunate.

DeSantis vetoed the University of Florida's 'statewide digital math enhancement program.'

Other projects facing cuts include the Bradford County Fair Association, Union County's courthouse and jail security, and residential substance abuse treatment services for community supervision in Alachua, Bradford, and Clay counties.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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