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Tax Watch Dog Reccomends $133 Million in Vetos

June 5th, 2019 by Jake Stofan

A leading budget watchdog group is asking the Governor to veto $133 million from the state budget.

Florida Tax Watch says the recommendations are a blueprint to help Governor Ron DeSantis as he reviews the 2019 budget.

According to TaxWatch President Dominic Calabro, the recommended cuts are relatively small compared to past years.

“But it’s still a significant amount of money that could have been spent in areas such as early education,” said Calabro. “That $133 million could have been spent additionally in classrooms, whether it’s public or charter classrooms, hurricane recovery.”

Most of the 109 recommended cuts are local projects.

Calabro said many should be paid for by local governments , while others were added late in the budget process with little to no vetting.

“The process must be transparent and accountable and every appropriation should receive sufficient vetting, deliberation and public debate,” said Calabro.

Governor DeSantis has appeared more eager to trim the fat off of what could be the largest budget in state history.

It was only minutes after session ended that DeSantis mentioned vetos.

“It’s going to be under 91 when I get through with the budget don’t worry about that,” said DeSantis.

Calabro said he hopes the Governor uses a light touch.

“Vetoing a half a billion dollars will be more political then it would be justified,” said Calabro.

TaxWatch says in 35 years it has published the Budget Turkey Watch Report, about two thirds of its recommendations have gotten the ax.

The largest cut recommended in this year’s report is a local road widening project in Citrus County with a price tag of $13.3 million.

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