School district lobbyists' salaries targeted

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The House on Friday backed off a move in its latest budget offer that targeted the salaries of school district lobbyists, reports the News Service of Florida. At this morning? Pre-K-12 budget conference meeting, Rep. Marti Coley, R-Marianna, included an addendum that said school districts may not spend more than $100,000 on contracted lobbyists. This surprised many in the school lobbying community, and a rumor quickly spread that one lobbyist must have done something to irk House lawmakers to spark this attack on salaries. Coley said the salaries provision was about tightening purse strings. ?t is simply in tough economic times you look at all areas of spending and that is an area we do want school districts to be conservative,?Coley said. She said she didn? know how many school lobbyists make over $100,000. School district lobbyist VernoTn Pickup-Crawford, who represents Palm Beach County, as well as other counties, said he makes more than $100,000 on lobbying, but maintained that districts spend less on contracted employees than full-time staffers who need secretaries and support staff. As written, the ban on salaries above $100,000 would include all funds spend on lobbying per school district, not just per person. The House dropped the issue later Friday.

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.