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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Senate budget cuts Scott's security detail by $651,000 -- in half



Claiming the governor's security detail was justified when the governor was the brother of a president and we had a nation at war, the Senate budget eliminates half of Gov. Rick Scott's security detail -- $651,000.

Scott relies on the 16 Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents assigned to him to escort him from the capital to the governor's mansion, from the mansion to his private plane and to protect him in his daily duties. The current budget of $1.2 million would be cut in half under the Senate proposal.

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, attempted an amendment to restore it. Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander opposed. Fasano withdrew it.

"I never thought I'd be sitting here trying this,'' Fasano said. He added that based on "some of the decisions coming out of the plaza level we may have to'' beef up the governor's security.

Alexander said that the budget expense was justifiable when Gov. Jeb Bush was in office, since he was the brother of a president and the nation was at war. But now, ''we're cutting along, got a whole new governor" and when they are asking state employees "to take reductions" Scott should to.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 31, 2011 4:21pm]


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