FDLE travel, security for Gov. Scott tops $2 million for first time
The cost of ground transportation and security for Gov. Rick Scott for the past year cost Florida taxpayers $2.1 million -- the first time those costs have topped the $2 million mark. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) issued its annual report Monday that reflects the cost of protecting the governor, first lady and the Governor's Mansion grounds in addition to costs for security and transportation from visiting dignitaries, mostly governors from other states on both official and personal trips to the Sunshine State.
The cost of protecting the state's chief executive was $2.1 million in the year ending June 30, compared to $1.8 million the year before. That works out to nearly $5,700 per day, every day, for the year.
FDLE spent $1,830,421 on salaries for agents to protect the governor and $335,127 to protect First Lady Ann Scott during the 12-month period. Transportation and other expenses for the first couple cost an additional $300,638, and protection for other members of the Scott family and for the mansion grounds brought the total costs for the year to $2,649,996. Scott maintains a busy travel schedule and is the first governor in Florida history who flies in his own plane at his expense.
Florida taxpayers paid $6,610 for five visits to the state by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and $4,556 for two visits by former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and members of his family. And no surprise here: The most popular month for out-of-state politicians to visit Florida was December.