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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The shifting language of budget discussions



It's efficiency day at the Capitol! At each appropriations hearing, agency heads are trotting out ways to cut costs on travel, cell phones, paperclips, whatever.

Officials are working under Senate President Jeff Atwater's "no new taxes or fees" declaration he made yesterday. But wait -- what about new charges?

During an innovative presentation today, FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey referred several times to new "charges" for services such as blood tests for those arrested for DUI.

Near the end of his presentation, he slipped and called one of the charges a "user fee." Sen. Victor Crist, chairman of the Criminal Justice appropriations committee, corrected him: "A shared cost."

(Both Crist and Sen. Alex Villalobos praised Bailey for his creative suggestions, which ranged from combating Medicaid fraud to instituting furloughs for state employees.)


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:14pm]


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