On Thursday, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis (FL) vetoed $3.1 billion in spending as he signed a $109.9 billion budget, 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.
Here’s what OutKick reported:
“DeSantis plans to veto a $35 million legislation for a Pasco County facility that’s earmarked for the Tampa Bay Rays’ spring training. DeSantis’s decision is in response to the Rays politicizing recent shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde ahead of a matchup with the Yankees in May.”
The decision comes after the Rays published a statement last week saying that the tragedies “have shaken us to the core.” Adding that the organization was donating tens of thousands of dollars to far-left anti-Second Amendment organizations.
The statement said:
“This cannot become normal. We cannot become numb. We cannot look the other way. We all know, if nothing changes, nothing changes.”
“The Rays organization stands committed to actionable change and has made a $50,000 commitment to Everytown for Gun Safety’s Support Fund.”
“Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in America. Rather than our usual game coverage on social media tonight, we’ve partnered with Everytown to amplify facts about gun violence in America.”
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.