Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) vetoed $3.1 billion in spending as he signed a $109.9 billion budget Thursday, slashing funds that would have, in part, gone toward a youth sports complex earmarked as a possible spring training facility for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Republican cited the need to protect the state “against what very well may be a Biden-induced recession” at the signing ceremony. The facility in question, in Pasco County, would have cost $35 million. The veto comes after the Rays published a call to end gun violence in the aftermath of the Texas and New York mass shootings, and a report from OutKick said it learned that the decision was indeed in response to the team “politicizing” the massacres.
“We all deserve to be safe — in schools, grocery stores, places of worship, our neighborhoods, houses and America. The most recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde have shaken us to the core. The Tampa Bay Rays are mourning these heartbreaking tragedies that took the lives of innocent children and adults,” the team said. “This cannot become normal. We cannot become numb. We cannot look the other way. We all know, if nothing changes, nothing changes.”
The team also donated $50,000 to a far-left gun violence prevention organization called Everytown for Gun Safety and announced a partnership with the organization to “amplify facts about gun violence in America.”
The Washington Examiner reached out to the Rays and DeSantis’s office for comment.
Also included in the veto list were $20 million for a pair of state-owned jets and $75 million for an environmental and oceanographic research and training facility at the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg campus.
DeSantis is vying for his second term as governor in the 2022 election, but he is widely talked about as a top-tier contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination should he choose to run.