Tampa Bay area projects that made, or got cut from, the state budget

Published April 18, 2012

The 2012-13 budget signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday included good and bad news for Tampa Bay-area projects.

Florida Holocaust Museum gets $150,000. The St. Petersburg museum said the money will go to programs that teach children about the Holocaust.

$2 million cut for digital learning project. Scott vetoed money for a joint project among SRI International, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the Pinellas County School District. The money was earmarked to help middle school math students.

Tampa stormwater money cut. Scott vetoed $200,000 for Tampa's community redevelopment agency to recoup some funding for stormwater improvements at Hillsborough Avenue and 30th Street. The veto will not affect the project, Tampa officials say.

Most St. Petersburg College projects make it. Scott vetoed a $100,000 project at St. Petersburg College's Natural Habitat Park and Environmental Center. The money would have been used to extend a habitat trail through the wetlands.

But college officials were happy Scott signed off on $2.5 million for marine science laboratories and classrooms for the college's Bay Pines campus.

$250,000 for addiction program vetoed. Scott cut money for the Pinellas County Juvenile Addiction Receiving Facility.

Crisis beds in Hillsborough cut. Scott also vetoed $400,000 to provide temporary housing and observation for mentally ill adults.

Expressway authority asked for, received veto. The biggest item Scott cut was $12.3 million for regional toll agencies. But it was hardly controversial considering that those who wanted Scott to veto the money were the same agencies set to receive it. Joe Waggoner, executive director of the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority, said he wrote Scott a letter asking him to reject that money, which is used by the state to cover any budget shortfalls that regional toll authorities might have.

"But we've been able to pay our costs since 2001," Waggoner said. "As soon as we saw it in the budget, we asked him to take it out."

Boys and Girls Club facility in Lacoochee gets $1 million. Scott signed off on the money to help build a 13,000-square-foot community center. The project had been a top priority of incoming Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel.