Andy Gardiner “not bothered” by Florida TaxWatch turkey list

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Incoming Senate President Andy Gardiner told the Orlando Sentinel he is not bothered by the Florida TaxWatch list of 2014 budgetary “turkeys.”

On Friday, the bipartisan  government watchdog group underscored nearly $121 million in line item projects included in the $77.1 billion budget the state House and Senate passed May 2, calling them “turkeys” that bypassed standard review procedures.

The group is calling for Gov. Rick Scott to veto the items when he signs the budget, expected within the next 11 days.

“I will promptly ignore it,” the Orlando Republican said of the list. Gardiner had directed dozens of projects into the 2014-2015 budget.

Orange County made the list with $10.3 million, including $1 million for the planned Valencia College Poinciana campus and $8 million for the “partnership complex” between the University of Central Florida and the Defense Department.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.