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Contact: Mark Ard
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Governor Ron DeSantis’ Freedom First Budget Strengthens Election Integrity and Preserves History

Proposed budget continues investments for Elections Administration, the protection of Florida’s Historical and Cultural Resources, and Public Access to Information


Today, Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee applauded Governor Ron DeSantis’ Freedom First budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023. Governor DeSantis’ Freedom First budget makes key investments to protect the integrity of Florida’s elections, to preserve Florida’s history, to support the arts, and to invest in our communities by funding local libraries and historic main streets. 


Governor DeSantis’ proposed budget includes:

  • $5.7 million to establish The Office of Elections Crimes and Security within the Florida Department of State, which will include dedicated agents and investigators who will ensure Florida’s elections laws are followed and offenders are brought to justice, keeping Florida a leader in election integrity and security;
  • $20 million in funding to continue to secure and strengthen elections at the state and local level, including vital funding for cybersecurity and infrastructure:
    • $7 million to secure, improve and strengthen elections-related systems across our state,
    • $10 million to upgrade and modernize Florida’s voter registration system,
    • $1 million to provide Supervisors of Elections with a network monitoring solution that actively monitors threats or suspicious activity, and
    • $2 million to upgrade and modernize the campaign finance database used by candidates and the public to ensure accessibility, accountability and transparency;
  • $15.6 million to preserve Florida historical resources, and share our state’s history with the public, to include:
    • $13.8 million to protect Florida’s important historical artifacts, ensuring they are maintained in a modern archaeological collection facility that is accessible to the public and to researchers, who can learn from this incredible collection covering 14,000 years of Florida history,
    • $164 thousand to purchase a research vessel to ensure we continue to identify important resources and artifacts through underwater archaeology, and
    • $1.6 million to provide historic preservations grants to preserve Florida’s historical and archaeological resources through restoration and rehabilitation of historic buildings and structures;
  • $5 million in funding to support cultural and museum grants, to ensure that every Florida community has access to the arts;
  • $20 million in continued support for libraries across Florida; and
  • $122 thousand to build stronger economic and diplomatic ties with international partners through the Office of International Affairs within the Department of State.

Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee said, “In 2020, Florida was a benchmark for successful elections administration, and I am grateful to Governor DeSantis for his steadfast commitment to leading the nation on elections policy and security. The Freedom First budget makes key investments in elections integrity, and funds the Office of Election Crimes and Security which will ensure dedicated resources to investigate and prosecute those who do not follow our laws. I am also grateful to the Governor for his continued support for the preservation of Florida’s historical and cultural resources. These investments will ensure that current Floridians and future generations will learn and appreciate the history of our great state.”