Florida lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott preach accountability in state spending yet allow millions in taxes, fees and fines to go uncollected. For the third consecutive year, the amount exceeds $100 million with the state forgiving $124 million in the past fiscal year, which ended June 30.
The total for the past three years stands at almost $344 million. The current state budget forced the state's 11 public universities to slash spending by $300 million.
It's galling to hear a lawmaker say the amount is small relative to the state's $70 billion budget. The state universities would have an altogether different view of that -- a very dim one.
One of the more glaring cases of uncollected money is the $800,000 in fines owed by public officials and others for ethics violations.
The toothless Florida Commission on Ethics needs stronger rules to force payments.
Oddly enough, the Associated Press reported this story on Christmas Eve. Florida certainly plays a forgiving Santa with these handouts, but the state cannot let this travesty continue.