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Mike Fasano to Tallahassee: My office will be open, how about yours?

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Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano wants to know what plan the Florida Department of Highway and Safety & Motor Vehicles has if the state has to shut down because of a budget impasse.

Fasano — a former lawmaker — sent a letter to Executive Director Terry Rhodes on May 4 questioning what plan will be in place if the state doesn’t have a budget on July 1.

Fasano said he had concerns about the operation of his office as well as for the customers his office serves.

“I fully intend to open our office doors on July 1, budget or no budget,” Fasano said in his correspondence. “However, if July 1st dawns and there’s no state budget in place, how will this fact impact tax collectors offices, such as Pasco County, that provide drivers license, tag and title services?”

Fasano wanted to know whether there would be any services in Tallahassee to connect to and whether the department has enough revenue in its coffers to be able to operate if the Legislature doesn’t pass a budget by July 1.

Rhodes’ office said they had not received the Fasano letter yet and “at this time it would be premature to speculate.”

Fasano said in his letter he had been following the “irresponsible actions of our legislators which led to the budget breakdown in Tallahassee.” The Legislature meets annually in regular session and isn’t required to pass anything but a budget for the state’s operating year, which is June 30-July 1.

An impasse over health care this year led to a breakdown and the House adjourned sine die three days before the scheduled end of session. The Senate adjourned the following day. Time expired on the session at 11:59 May 1 in a vacant Capitol.

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