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Lawmakers Want to Clip State’s Wings

October 8th, 2008 by flanews

Lawmakers are pressuring the state to reduce its airplane fleet to save money. Getting rid of the states newest jet could save taxpayers as much as a million dollars a year. As Whitney Ray tells us, all money saving options are on the table, but when it comes to catching a flight out of Tallahassee options are limited.

Hear it Here: Parking State Jet Would Save Taxpayers More Than A Million Dollars

Governor Charlie Crist and other high ranking state officials have access to a fleet of three state planes. Some groups are asking the state to sell the newest jet to save taxpayer money. Crist said getting rid of the jet is still an option, but the state couldnt sell it. Its not off the table. Its a decision for the legislature, but its hard for us to sell though because we dont own it, said Crist. The planes are leased. It cost 8,000 dollars a round trip to fly across the state. Florida could save a few thousand dollars by using an air charter service instead. Of course the cheapest option for the Governor would be to fly coach, but leaving from Tallahassee Regional Airport could take some extra stops to reach some parts of Florida. Some nonstop flight options from Tallahassee have been cancelled. The Florida Democratic Party says regardless of the hassle a layover could cause, flying coach would be better for taxpayers than keeping all three planes. Were cutting 500 million dollar from health care this year. Were cutting 140 dollars per student from public schools and yet Charlie Crist still loves to fly around in luxury jets. Its a complete waste of taxpayer dollars and he should get rid of them, said Florida Democrats Spokesman Eric Jotkoff. Getting rid of the jet could save taxpayers a million dollars a year. Getting rid of the jet and one of the two planes could save 1.8 million. Parking the planes and flying commercially would also cut down on carbon emissions.

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