BY BUDDY NEVINS
Gov. Rick Scott okayed on Monday most of the spending for Broward approved by the Legislature.
Still, Scott vetoed state spending on some Broward projects Monday. Other programs in Broward may have been affected by budget language vetoed by the governor.
The projects vetoed are:
* Transportion Hub, State Road 7, Lauderdale Lakes, $500,000,
* Program of All Inclusive Elderly Care (PALE), $353,867,
* Drainage improvements, Hallandale Beach, $500,000,
* Holocaust Center, $500,000,
* Flood mitigation, Lauderdale Lakes, $500,000,
* Seawall Improvements, Fort Lauderdale’s Seven Isles section, $100,000.
The Holocaust Center money was specifically singled out by Senate President Don Gaetz in the news release below. Does Florida TaxWatch has more weight with the governor than Gaetz?
An earlier post below lists all the proposed money for Broward. It appears that most of this survived the veto pen.
Below are the Broward County items that were included in the state budget by Florida’s Legislature.
Florida TaxWatch has denounced many of these expenditures as “turkeys,” meaning they are unnecessary and wasteful.
State Senate President Don Gaetz had this to say this week about Florida TaxWatch’s “turkey” list:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2013
STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT GAETZ REGARDING FLORIDA TAXWATCH
Tallahassee — Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) today released the following statement regarding Florida TaxWatch releasing their 2013 Turkey Watch Report.
“The TaxWatch list is built on the unconstitutional perversion that if an appropriation isn’t recommended by unelected agency officials it shouldn’t be considered in conference by elected legislators. This is an arrogance of the elite who spend too much time in Tallahassee and Washington listening to the echoes of their own invented wisdom and thinking they’re hearing the voice of God.
“No agency put in its budget a $3,500 raise for Florida’s most effective teachers, yet that was funded. No agency testified before the Legislature asking for a raise for state employees who had been without one for six years, yet we passed it. No bureaucrat in the Department of Education asked for a career-technical pathway to a high school diploma or an online pathway to a university degree, but we funded them. Not a whisper of criticism from TaxWatch on any of these and a hundred other similar items. So, apparently, their indignation is not only ill-informed but selective.
“TaxWatch has dismissed as ‘turkeys’ mobile medical and dental units to bring health care to poor people in rural areas, documentation and education about the Holocaust, housing for disabled veterans, rehabilitation for severely wounded soldiers who want to return to duty, and replacement of 50 year old educational facilities that produce workforce for companies bringing jobs to Florida. In most cases, those who put together this list couldn’t find these projects on a map and haven’t put five minutes into finding out anything about them.
“If our founders had shared the slavish devotion of Taxwatch to unchallenged decisions and dictates of faraway bureaucrats, we’d all be drinking English tea and singing God Save the Queen. A good song. But not an American song. The Constitution obligates and empowers elected legislators, who come from communities and go home to communities, to write the state’s budget. If TaxWatch staffers want to test their budget theories in the public square, let them stand up in front of conference committees and testify in public. More than thirty public, open conference committee meetings were held during the recent legislative session. Every item in the state budget was proposed and adopted during those public meetings. Testimony was requested and welcomed at every meeting. Not once did any person from TaxWatch ask one question, offer one idea or say one word.
“It is little wonder that TaxWatch is irrelevant 364 days a year.”
In Broward, the spending watchdog group’s “turkeys” include $484,000 for a road project in Lauderdale Lakes, $500,000 for the Holocaust Center and $500,000 for a transportation hub facility on State Road 7.
You can look at the list by clicking on the three images below and decide which projects you believe are unnecessary and wasteful.
But your opinion really doesn’t count. It is Gov. Rick Scott who will decide which of these items to line-item veto.
We’ll see soon.