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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Meek to Crist: Get your act together



News that Florida ranks last among all states in spending federal stimulus money on highway projects has opened Gov. Charlie Crist up to new criticism. U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Miami Democrat challenging Crist for U.S. Senate, said today that he is reaching out to federal officials to find out what's going on.

"I voted along with my colleagues from the Florida delegation in Congress for the stimulus program. I did not vote for Florida to be last of 50 when it comes to stimulus dollar spending," Meek said. "I urge the Governor to be a hands-on leader with his agencies, departments and with the state legislature when session convenes next year, and ensure that Florida is taking advantage of every federal dollar it can receive."

"It was easy for the Governor to stand on stage in Ft. Myers with President Obama in February in support of the stimulus, but now the work begins and Florida is late in rolling up its sleeves to take advantage of these limited funds. The over 10 percent unemployed Floridians and the 3500 Floridians who are losing their health care every week don't have time to spare."

Rep. James Oberstar, head of the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, sent a letter to Crist last week pointing out the poor performance and urging Florida to get on the ball. As of June 30, according to Oberstar, Florida had begun projects totaling 2 percent of the state's $1.3 billion share.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:56pm]


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