Member projects make it into state budget at the last possible moment

in Statewide by

It was better late than never Thursday for five member projects inserted at the very last minute into the compromise $83 billion state budget.

The House and Senate each had items to stuff into the budget during the last conference committee meeting of the evening.

Actually, one of the items won funding earlier in the day — $300,000 for the “ARC Broward Safe Roof Project.” But the Senate added another $90,000 later.

They’re called supplemental funding initiatives, and each side save little pots of money to spend at the last minute on these member projects. Senate President Joe Negron said Wednesday night that senators were lobbying him on their projects even then.

The Senate added 75 projects to the budget during the afternoon. There was no bottom line, but the most expensive was $3.2 million to fix up a building at Florida Southwestern State College.

The House added 14 items during the afternoon. It did provide a total: nearly $10.4 million. They included the Florida Southwestern project.

The latecomers for the Senate were $500,000 for a rodeo facility in Arcadia; that same amount for a canal project in Florida City; and $334,770 for the Little Havana Activity and Nutrition Centers.

The House’s last adds were the Urban League money and $390,000 for an “ARC Broward Safe Roof Project.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.