Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Governor kills two Pinellas projects, others survive veto pen

Clearwater's Marine Museum won big. As did the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg.

Each of them secured about a million dollars in state funding in next year's budget and dodged the threat of Gov. Rick Scott's veto pen. On Monday, the governor's office released a list of the projects that were less fortunate.

Rep. Darryl Rouson, whose district includes much of South St. Petersburg, had earmarked $78,750 for renovations to the Fannye Ponder House, a historic site that serves as the home of the National Council of Negro Women's St. Petersburg chapter. An architect had looked at the property, Rouson said, and estimated how much it would cost to bring it up to code.

"The money was like to the penny, there was no waste involved," he said.

Perhaps it was the fact that Florida TaxWatch had urged Scott to veto the project, or the fact that Rouson's wife is the president of the city's chapter — either way, the renovations were axed in the end.

The governor also vetoed another of Rouson's spending proposals — $150,000 for a jobs development program run by the Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-entry Coalition, a 12-person nonprofit that tries to prevent people from cycling in and out of jail. The organization's executive director Michael Jalazo said the money would have allowed the group to hire a few more case workers and focus on finding ex-offenders jobs.

"The biggest need these people have is employment," Jalazo said. "I saw Rouson last week and he thought were ok, but I guess not."

Rouson seemed equally baffled.

"Why wouldn't you empower an ex-offender to create, look for, and enhance employment opportunities for other ex-offenders?" he said. "It's a public safety matter...and it's about putting people to work."

A plan to build a 275-mile bike trail from St. Petersburg to Titusville also died during the veto process. Its construction would have cost $50 million.

Sen. Jack Latvala's request that the state spend $200,000 on a consolidation study of the Pinellas and Hillsborough transit agencies made it out alive, but officials in Hillsborough would rather it hadn't. The board of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit system has repeatedly voiced its objections to discussing consolidation with the Pinellas agency, calling Latvala's intervention a power grab and citing concern that the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is underfunded.

And Rouson said that several of his projects had also gone through, including $5 million for the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg College of Business building.

Governor kills two Pinellas projects, others survive veto pen 05/20/13 [Last modified: Monday, May 20, 2013 6:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]
  2. Trump, seething about attorney general, speculates about firing Sessions, sources say

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

  3. John McCain to return to Senate for health care vote

    WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote Tuesday to try to advance a sweeping rewrite of the nation's health-care laws with the last-minute arrival of Sen. John McCain — but tough talk from President Donald Trump won no new public support from skeptical GOP senators for the flagging effort that all but …

  4. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  5. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.