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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott orders sale of both state airplanes

5

January

On his first full day as governor, Rick Scott directed the state Department of Management Services to sell both state-owned airplanes. That was one of the promises Scott made on the campaign trail.

"The privilege of using a state-owned aircraft is an unnecessary burden to taxpayers, especially when lower-cost travel options exist," Scott said in a prepared statement. "As elected officials it is our responsibility to utilize the most affordable options for official business, and I do not believe state-owned airplanes are the best option."

The decision means that not only Scott, but Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, the three Cabinet members, Supreme Court justices and all other state officials will have to find other ways to travel by air when it is necessary. Scott owns his own seven-passenger plane, which he plans to use to get to state events. Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said Wednesday he believes such action would require a vote of the governor and Cabinet and he would support such a move. "If he wants to recommend selling, I'd second the motion," Atwater said.

"This is the first of many steps Gov. Scott is taking to reduce government spending," the governor's office said in a news release. The current operating budget for the two planes is $2.4-million a year for a 2000 King Air 350 and a 2003 Cessna Citation Bravo. Bids will be opened at 2 p.m. on Feb. 9, the governor's office said. 

The aircraft listing for the Cessna Citation jet is here

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 5:36pm]

    

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