A bill modernizing how Floridians buy state vehicles would be a change that could save residents enormous sums of money and increase the number of electric vehicles on its roads.
The bill, SB284, was sponsored by a Republican and approved by almost all of the Republicans in the assembly. Additionally, the Florida Natural Gas Association and the Sierra Club, two frequently at-odds organizations, both supported it. According to estimates, the reform prevents the production of greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change and saves the government hundreds of millions of dollars.
However, on June 28, Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the reform unexpectedly, contradicting his prior support for EVs.
Michael Weiss, the Florida state director at Advanced Energy United, a trade group promoting clean transportation that backed SB284, said the governor’s veto was “a perplexing decision that will cost Florida taxpayers millions of dollars.” The Florida Legislature recognized the financial and tax benefits of having a modern and effective fleet, but DeSantis missed the memo.
Advanced Energy United said the law could have saved Floridians $277 million over 15 years if the whole fleet had converted to EVs. Also, the proposed legislation would have changed the state’s procedure for selecting new vehicles to favor vehicles with the lowest lifetime cost rather than mandating conversion to EVs.
“The interests of Florida families and the legislators they elected are at odds with this veto. Why the governor would blow this chance to save taxpayer money is puzzling,” said Weiss, whose organization speaks for several techs, alternative energy, and utility companies. DeSantis typically justifies his vetoes, but the one he sent SB284 lacked any.