Statement from Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz as Some Teachers’ DeSantis-Signed Checks Bounce

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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.”

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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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