Gov. Rick Scott acted fast to veto more than $400 million from the state budget this week, but that hasn't stopped Florida Tax Watch from releasing its annual list of "turkeys," the local projects and items that didn't go through a public process to get into the budget.
"As the taxpayers' trusted watchdog, it is our responsibility to highlight each of the projects that circumvent responsible budgeting processes, allowing taxpayers to hold their elected officials accountable for budgeting decisions," said Florida Tax Watch President Dominic Calabro in a statement released Thursday.
But here's the thing: The Tax Watch list identifies $167 million in turkeys. Scott vetoed significantly more from next year's state budget.
Identifying vetoes isn't really the goal of the turkey list, says Calabro, but it does become a little more futile if the budget won't change.
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Manatee County projects on the list were $300,000 for security improvements at Port Manatee; $2,050,000 for expansion of IMG Academy; and $500,000 for a Manatee ER Diversion program.
Scott vetoed all three projects.