Category: News

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Early Payoff of $400 Million of Florida State Debt

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
July 21, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (IRN) — On July 19, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis revealed that the State of Florida has achieved an early paydown of $400 million of its debt through the Debt Reduction Program. This program, part of the Framework for Freedom Budget, was championed by the Governor and is designed to reduce state debt by accelerating the payoff of bonds before their maturity, thereby avoiding subsequent interest costs. As a result of this early payoff, Florida taxpayers are projected to save nearly $34 million.

In his statement, Governor DeSantis underscored Florida’s commitment to fiscal responsibility in contrast to the perceived irresponsible handling of the national debt by Washington. He emphasized that the state puts its citizens at the forefront of every decision, prioritizing smart fiscal policies that save money for Florida residents.

The Division of Bond Finance, led by Director Ben Watkins, played a significant role in implementing the debt reduction program. Director Watkins expressed pride in delivering on Governor DeSantis’s vision and facilitating an expedited reduction in state debt, leading to substantial savings for taxpayers. He also highlighted the Division’s continued dedication to exploring additional opportunities to leverage Florida’s strong financial standing and further diminish the state’s financial obligations.

With the announcement of the latest early payoff, Florida has successfully retired approximately $5 billion in state debt since Governor DeSantis took office. The Governor’s administration expects further paydowns over the fiscal year. This achievement stands in stark contrast to the national debt, which has increased by more than $10 trillion due to excessive spending during the same timeframe.

The Debt Reduction Program, established within the Division of Bond Finance as part of the Framework for Freedom Budget, recently completed two transactions to support the retirement of outstanding taxable Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) and State Revolving Fund (SRF) bonds. Utilizing $200 million in appropriated funds, along with additional available funding, the Division paid down $400 million in state debt before its maturity, resulting in nearly $34 million in savings for Florida taxpayers.

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