Florida Construction News staff writer
In his State of the State address this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis once again commended the workers who repaired infrastructure including to major bridges after Hurricane Ian hit the Panhandle last fall.
He also highlighted state-wide statistics from the past year as Florida remains the fastest growing state in the nation.
“We rank number one for net in-migration. We rank number one in the nation for new business formations. We are number one in economic growth among large states,” he said. “Florida has more people employed today than before the pandemic. Our unemployment rate is one of the lowest on record and it is significantly lower than the national average.
“As many of you know in this room, the last two years we’ve seen the largest budget surpluses in the history of the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. ‘And we do that with having the lowest per capita state tax and lowest per capita state debt burdens amongst all large states.
Pointing to challenges caused by Hurricane Ian smashing into southwest in September, the governor praised local residents and workers who repaired infrastructure including the Pine Island Bridge and the Sanibel Causeway damaged by the storm.
“Local island residents were told it would take six months or more to restore the bridges, and so they appealed to the state for help,” he said. “We took up the challenge and three days later we opened a rebuilt Pine Island bridge. And two weeks after that, we were able to reopen the Sanibel Causeway after it had been severed in three locations.”
A “new era” of stewardship for Florida’s natural resources is underway, DeSantis said, with historic funding for water quality and Everglade Everglades projects, improved water policy and technology to combat issues like algal blooms and red tide.
“We promised to leave Florida to God better than we found it and we are making good on that promise,” he concluded.