September 24, 2021
Today the Florida Department of Education confirmed that at least fifty physical bonus checks issued to Florida educators drawing on funds from the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan were “impacted” by a banking error that caused some teacher’s checks to be returned for insufficient funds.
In reaction to this head-scratching development, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz issued the following statement:
“Today’s bonus check debacle once again shows Governor DeSantis will always put his own political interests above the needs of the state he is supposed to lead.
“When the Florida Legislature decided on a bipartisan basis to send out $400 million in pandemic relief dollars to teachers and first responders in the form of one-time bonuses, DeSantis, like his mentor Donald Trump, saw an opportunity to use public funds to promote his own personal political interests. Instead of channeling the money directly to local governments so they could distribute them to their employees at no cost to taxpayers, DeSantis wasted $3.6 million of our dollars sending out paper checks just so he could put his signature on them.
“As if that wasn’t infuriating enough, the bonuses are coming from the American Rescue Plan, a bill that neither he nor a single Republican in Congress supported. This whole fiasco is a true DeSantis special. It’s unnecessarily costly, and detrimental to both the recipients and the taxpayers, and topped off with a huge dollop of hypocrisy.
“One wonders whether Governor DeSantis will ever truly understand what his job is: it is not to campaign perennially but to actually serve the people of the state he supposedly leads. Governor, please get it straight: you are in a position of authority to help us, not to help yourself.”