DeSantis’ executive order calls for $2.5 billion to be appropriated over the next four years for Everglades restoration and water resource protection - a $1 billion increase over what was spent the prior four years under the Rick Scott administration. The order also calls for the creation of the Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency and the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection, both within the Department of Environmental Protection.
DeSantis also called for a fresh start at the South Florida Water Management District, sending letters to all board members, asking for their resignations for another toxic algae outbreak.
"We do just need a fresh start so we can move together as Floridians united," DeSantis said.
Republicans around the state lauded DeSantis for getting to work on his second day as governor. Rep. Brian Mast (R-Stuart) praised the change, after calling for the board to resign last month.
Other Republicans also chimed in on Twitter, showering the new governor with praise for keeping his word to make the environment a top priority in his administration.
And while DeSantis' "fresh start" is being celebrated by Republicans, Democrats across the state are not convinced the governor is doing enough.
Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) said in a news release Thursday she was “encouraged” by DeSantis’ “first steps” to address the state’s water problems. But while describing the order as having “lofty goals” and “admirable pursuits,” she said more details are needed, particularly on the $2.5 billion request.
“Will he turn to the Trump administration? Or will he be seeking help from the Legislature?” Gibson said. “Can our state budget handle this increase? Is the plan to cut into other programs to raise the needed funds? Will Floridians lose services in one area to offset the costs for water cleanup?”
Others across the Sunshine State also lambasted the governor, with some upset that he didn't mention the words "climate change" in his executive order or speech.
One would think that DeSantis' executive order and request for the SFWM board members to resign would've been met with applause from both sides of the aisle. Yet again, Democrats are not satisfied with DeSantis' second day in office, even though he's promoted bipartisan policies since his campaign.
Which begs the question: will Democrats ever get behind DeSantis?