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.
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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.