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Miami Herald: ‘A baffling decision’: DeSantis vetoes bipartisan bill to buy Florida more electric cars

Posted by Alex Harris on Jun 30, 2023

Miami Herald sheds light on Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis' decision to veto a bill that would have saved the Sunshine State's taxpayers millions of dollars, quoting Michael Weiss about the negative impacts of this unanticipated ruling.

A bill modernizing how Florida buys state vehicles, a change that would have saved a ton of money and likely led to more electric cars and trucks, came with rare bipartisan backing from the Florida Legislature.

It was sponsored by a Republican and passed with a nearly unanimous vote in the majority Republican legislature. It was endorsed by two groups often at odds, the Sierra Club and the Florida Natural Gas Association. Estimates suggest it could have saved hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars and cut down on the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

But late Wednesday night, Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed it in a surprise decision that also seemed to go against his past history of support for electric cars.

“This veto is a baffling decision that will cost Florida taxpayers millions of dollars,” Michael Weiss, Florida state lead at Advanced Energy United, a trade group promoting clean transportation that supported the bill, said in a statement. “The Florida Legislature saw the clear economic and taxpayer benefits of a modern and efficient state fleet, but Gov. DeSantis somehow didn’t get the memo.”

Advanced Energy United estimated that the bill could have saved Floridians $277 million over 15 years if the entire fleet of cars were converted to electric vehicles. The bill would not have mandated a switch to electric cars but instead switched the state’s method of choosing new ones to favor whatever car was cheapest over a total lifetime cost.

Florida, No. 2 in nation for electric cars, about to get a boost to its charger network

“This veto is out of step with the interests of Florida families and the leaders they sent to the Legislature. It’s perplexing why the governor would drop the ball on this opportunity to save taxpayers money,” said Weiss, whose group represents an array of tech, alternative energy and utility companies.

Read the full article on the Miami Herald (paywalled) here.

Topics: United In The News, Michael Weiss, Florida