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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Latest cost-cutting idea is on your car bumper



HStemtag_2ow desperate is Florida to save money during the current financial crisis? So desperate that the little brown stem on the orange blossom on the state's license tags is an endangered species. Eliminating brown as a fourth color on the tags will save Florida an estimated $50,000 a year. (The stem will be green, not brown).

The cost-cutting idea was suggested by Stan Kirkland, a 17-year employee of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Florida buys millionf of tags every year from PRIDE Enterprises, the St. Petersburg-based firm that runs employment programs for prison inmates. "We're looking for efficiencies," says Electra Bustle, executive director of the highway safety agency. Her new mantra to agency workers: "Find your next brown stem."

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:12pm]


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