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Proposal offered to lease plane for DeSantis

Fleming Island senator files proposal to spend nearly $1.86M to lease plane

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, has filed a proposal to spend nearly $1.86 million to lease an airplane for Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The proposal, which doesn’t identify an aircraft that would be leased, was one of more than 100 amendments filed for the Senate’s proposed $90.3 billion budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which starts July 1.

The Senate Appropriations Committee was scheduled to review the amendments Wednesday afternoon. The airplane issue has drawn attention since DeSantis took office in January because his predecessor, former Gov. Rick Scott, got rid of state planes in 2011 to fulfill a campaign pledge.

Scott, the wealthiest governor in state history, used his own aircraft to fly throughout the state.

An $88.9 billion budget proposal released Friday by the House includes $7.2 million for aircraft, with the money listed as a “special category” line item within funding for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The House and Senate will have to negotiate differences in their budget proposals during the coming month.