Anytime government looks to change a basic function that impacts millions of Floridians — and needs more money to do it — don't expect rubberstamp approval. Julie Jones, the executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, appeared to finally understand that political dynamic this week when she put on hold an ambitious and little-discussed plan to redesign Florida's iconic orange-laden license plate with a newfangled flat tag that would be partially distributed by a private business.
Jones and her staff are now pledging to work with all the stakeholders — including the state's 67 tax collectors who play a large role in distributing the state's 15 million license plates and the nonprofit prison industry that produces them — before going forward. That's a start. But Jones will also need to do a better job articulating exactly why this change is necessary and provide a more convincing argument that spending millions more now will save money down the road.