Expressways may keep some budget independence

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A provision nestled in a 63-page Senate conforming bill (SB 1998) that would have turned over control of Tampa Bay and Orange County expressway money to the state was stripped from the bill late Thursday in a deal that also paved the way for completion of the Wekiva Parkway. After a flurry of local support and negotiations, Senate Budget Chairman JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales, said he was convinced the local authorities will spend their toll proceeds wisely. “What we’re after is not taking anybody’s money, it’s making sure we are operating in a financially sound way and not placing future costs on the state of Florida inappropriately.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.