A couple of potential red flags were added to a major economic development bill moving through the House. One authorizes -- but doesn't fund -- a new swimming pool in Cape Coral. Democrats said the provision smelled a lot like local pork funding and said it should go through the normal budget process. But Republicans added the amendment, arguing the swim center would attract national competitions. They also said the provision only adds policy -- funding will be decided by lawmakers in 2012.
"This just looks like a member project," said Rep. Jim Waldman,
D-Coconut Creek. "Why are we funding member projects?"
A second amendment gives some gas stations a two-year extension to replace
leaky underground fuel tanks. Finance and Tax chairwoman Ellyn
Bogdanoff argued that stations bought between 2008 and 2010 should
be exempt because the new owners could not easily find funding to
replace them. Waldman, who owns a gas station said the new owners --
mostly large companies who bought out mom-and-pop stations -- were "knew
at the time they needed to upgrade these tanks."