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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

St. Pete EMS bill goes kaput



ST. PETERSBURG -- A bill to let St. Petersburg run its own medical transport service appears to have died, Sen. Charlie Justice said today.

The legislative delegation met today without taking it up. Asked if the bill was dead, Justice, the sponsor, said, "As far as I know." (UPDATE: Justice said later he was never officially a sponsor, only that he was approached to support the bill and sought information about it.)

The bill, crafted by Mayor Rick Baker and staff, riled Pinellas County officials and created a bit of awkwardness for Justice. The county discovered it when a Justice aide e-mailed a draft for comment after the city sent it to him to support. Coming month after a fractious dispute over EMS funding, the County Commission voted to oppose it. Even Justice last month lamented that some City Council members said they were unaware of the measure.

"It seems that there was probably more process than policy," Justice, D-St. Petersburg, said today, noting the county's angry reaction and a Times editorial spelling doom for the measure.

If there's any more ideas on the bill, Justice said it could come back to life during the session. But he said he hasn't even thought about the bill for a month.

David DeCamp, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:20pm]


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