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TaxWatch: Taxpayers spending $14 million on communications staff and lobbyists in state government

From a new report from the Florida TaxWatch:

Florida taxpayers are funding the salaries of 126 communications department workers in state agencies earning a total of more than $7.3 million annually, and 71 legislative affairs employees earning more than $4.3 million a year. As of April, 2011, the combined tab for the two departments came to $11,700,579 a year, or $975,048 per month, or $32,056 per day.

When benefits are included at the standard rate of 20 percent, the total annual outlay for these positions rises by $2,340,115 for a total of $14,040,694, or $1,170,057 a month, or $38,467 each day.

While likely all large organization and governments at all levels have communications and some form of (inter-)governmental/legislative affairs directors, it is important during these difficult fiscal times, when focusing on the core functions of government is paramount, that the taxpayers
understand the costs of these activities. Only by determining the costs of these activities can their value assessed.