Senate ready to spend $150,000 to get advice on oil spill legislation
The Florida Senate has set aside $150,000 to hire an accounting firm and staff from the University of West Florida to advise the chamber on what legislation they should write to help the oil spill regions of the state.
The accounting firm of Carr, Riggs and Ingram has been retained to offer up to $75,000 in services that include providing "accountancy and financial consultant services concerning the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico" and perform "other related tasks'' as designated by Senate President Jeff Atwater. Download Senate Carr Riggs and Ingram contract; Download Senate UWF contract
The Senate has also hired the University of West Florida's Haas Center and its president, Dr. Rick Harper for up to $75,000 to "provide financial, economic and business consultant services'' concerning the oil spill and "possible legislative action to address the effects of the spill or similar spills.''
What can these advisers offer the Senate that its own staff can't? We'll wait for the recommendations to find out. Sen. Mike Haridopolos, the Senate's designated incoming Senate president, has announced that he's ready to fire some veteran staffers whom he believes have become too important for their own good.
Across the hall, the House has spent money on oil too. Last year, it hired a consultant to prepare a study on the prospects of oil drilling in Florida waters. The cost: $200,000.