Florida is rejecting $320 million in federal funding to reduce emissions, calling it 'politicization of our roadways'

Florida is rejecting $320 million in federal funding to reduce emissions, calling it 'politicization of our roadways'
In an aerial view, cars drive along I-95 in June 2022 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • Florida officials turned down $320 million of federal funds to address infrastructure and emissions.
  • FDOT officials called the funds "politicization of our roadways" and declined the money.

Though Florida has become known for politicizing everything from school libraries to Disney World, the Sunshine State draws the line at highways.

Florida state officials have turned down an influx of $320 million of federal dollars to address infrastructure and emissions, claiming the money is politicized because it's meant to address climate change.

Jared Perdue, the secretary of Florida's Department of Transportation, informed the agency's federal counterpart in November that the state will decline the funds, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The FDOT quietly removed a "Carbon Reduction Strategy," which was a requirement for the federal dollars, from its website, the newspaper reported.

Echoing verbiage used by state Gov. Ron DeSantis, Perdue said in his letter to the US DOT that Florida was rejecting "the continued politicization of our roadways," the Tampa Bay Times reported. DeSantis previously said climate change was a left-wing attempt to "politicize the weather," The New York Times reported.

Florida was the only state to turn down the funds, according to the Tampa Bay Times.


Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor took to X, formerly Twitter, to compare DeSantis to the fictional Dr. Seuss' character The Grinch, who is known for stealing Christmas presents from the locals of Whoville.

"You're a mean one, Gov. DeSantis," Castor, who represents Tampa, said on X, "once again, pickpocketing Floridians of millions of infrastructure dollars, and for what? This foolishness is fiscally irresponsible, and it's costing Florida families and businesses a whole lot."

Castor even attached a GIF of the green-skinned, red-eyed Grinch.

In a press release on December 5, the FDOT announced a budget proposal from DeSantis of $14.5 billion for transportation projects over the next fiscal year.

The press release noted that "many states rely heavily on the federal government to fund their transportation infrastructure needs," but said Florida isn't, due to the "continued politicization of transportation funding being pushed by the Biden Administration."


An FDOT spokesperson did not immediately respond to BI's request for comment.