Wednesday, April 29, 2009

UPDATE: Space Florida budget cut 50%

Reliable reports indicate earlier report below is dated. Funding restored (in committee). Objection withdrawn.

Tallahassee, WEAR ABC-TV 3 A Florida legislative committee, "peeved" at Space Florida spending on an out-of-state lobbying firm, has cut the economic development agency's budget almost in half.

Sen. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey) announced a cut of more than $1.8 million in Space Florida's budget during a Wednesday meeting of the Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations conference committee.

The agency spent nearly $300,000 of its $4 million state allocation last year on lobbyists, including $195,000 to a Pennsylvania firm with ties to Space Florida's president.

The money was paid in two installments, possibly to circumvent a requirement that Space Florida's board of directors approve any contract of $100,000 or more.