Scott vetoes may have missed some 'turkeys'
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott took aim at dozens of budget turkeys when he used his line-item veto on the state's new $82 billion spending plan, but he missed many other projects that didn't undergo proper reviews, according to Florida TaxWatch's annual analysis of the budget.
TaxWatch issued its "turkey list" on Friday, a day after Scott formally signed the budget for the year that begins July 1 and three days after he announced which projects he would veto.
Scott cut 58 of the 143 items identified by TaxWatch, removing a shade over $43 million of the $104.9 million in spending singled out by the group.
TaxWatch is careful to say that it isn't weighing in on the merits of the turkeys, or even whether they should be vetoed -- it is just questioning the process that brought the projects into the budget.
Generally, a project gets put on the list if it's slipped into the budget late in the legislative session or doesn't follow the regular process for getting state money.
This year's turkey list is the smallest since 2010.
"Lawmakers have clearly heard the call from Florida TaxWatch and their constituents for a transparent and open process that provides the opportunity for taxpayers to know how their hard-earned dollars are being spent," said Dominic Calabro, the group's president and CEO. "But we cannot have government in the sunshine if the taxpayers' hard-earned dollars are appropriated in the dark."
Though he didn't eliminate all the projects identified by TaxWatch, Scott vetoed $256 million worth of spending, much of which was not included in the turkey list.
News Service of Florida