Florida TaxWatch this morning released its turkey list this morning and the total comes to $110.5 million. A turkey is the Tallahassee parlance for budget pork that bypasses normal budgeting procedures.
Some of the projects that the group is asking Gov.Charlie Crist to veto include $12 million to help with a new airport in Panama City, $840,000 for the cultural festival in Miami known as Exponica International, and $1.5 million for a reclaimed water project in Doral.
The head of Florida TaxWatch said that many Floridians would be "shocked" to know that lawmakers had authorized so much questionable spending in one of the state's worst ever budget years. He also said that the GOP-controlled Legislature did not do a very thoughtful job in delving deeper into state agency budgets. Dominic Calabro, president of the organization, questioned how legislators could justify setting aside millions to build a new university campus in Lakeland while cutting funding for higher education programs overall.
"It's an arcane system of budgeting,'' said Calabro. "It is out of step with how Floridians live their lives."