Note: This blog's templates will be updated this afternoon to a responsive design bringing it in line with

At that time, we will also change to the Facebook commenting system. You will need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment.

« A surprise for Charlie courtesy of lawmakers | Main | In the middle of the night, Robaina's phantom move »

Austere $66.2 billion budget doesn't kill off turkeys

The $66.2 billion budget placed on lawmakers desks on Monday night isn't as bleak for everyone as it may first appear.

It turns out that a few hometown projects, aka in Tallahassee as "turkeys," got stuffed into the budget.

Take for example, the $12 million - split in two different places - that will be used on a connector road that would serve the controversial new Panama City airport that has been pushed by powerful land development company St. Joe.

Then there's the $1 million that Rep. David Rivera and Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla got for a "graywater irrigation system" to serve a park in the city of Doral in Miami-Dade County. Want more? Despite a veto by Crist last year, legislators also set aside $840,000 for the Latin American cultural festival known as Exponica International.

There's also $700,000 to study whether or not to build a rail line, known as the "Sugar Train," that would connect western Miami-Dade County with the city of South Bay. And there's $1.2 million to bury electric lines and bicycle and sidewalks alongside a state road in Orange County.-$1 million for an artificial reef program in the Florida Keys. How about $1 million for a trail along Lake Okeechobee, $250,000 for a Miami Springs emergency shelter, and $500,000 for a "post disaster relief control center" in Homestead.