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Jeanette Núñez’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, budget conference

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What do you do when you are asked to carry the water for a colleague running for the Florida Senate, who is looking to curry favor with a large business in his district by requesting funding for a line item nobody asked for, the state doesn’t need, and the Senate vehemently opposes? You do what Rep. Jeanette Núñez has been doing for Rep. Ritch Workman, which is to stick to a script that on the surface sounds believable, but is…

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State police radio replacement dispute becomes budget conference sticking point

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An obscure but heated battle over a state contract potentially worth hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money is at stake as budget conferees continue to hammer out differences between House and Senate proposals. At issues is the radio equipment law enforcement agents use to communicate. Problems with communication gear have led to the deaths of several officers across the country. Tucked into the House’s government operations budget proposal is $7 million for a line item that reads “Replacement Of Statewide Law…

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Gov’t ops budgets inch toward reconciliation

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The Government Operations/General Government budget conference held its second meeting Saturday, as the sub-chairs for each chamber — Rep. Jeanette Nunez and Sen. Alan Hays — continued to wrangle spreadsheets and inch closer to squaring the $10 million in differences between their respective proposals. This time it was the House’s turn to respond to a Senate offer from earlier this morning, and Nunez made progress towards reconciling the outstanding line items, though they remain about $11.6 million apart. Major sticking points include some $7…

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State law enforcement radio money spared Gov. Scott’s veto ax

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Gov. Rick Scott vetoed more than $461 million in state spending this morning, or about six percent of all appropriations in the 2015-2016 budget. It was his second largest spilling of red ink over line items since acting on his first General Appropriations Act in office — when he nixed some $615 million in 2011’s $70 billion budget. Not on the chopping block: $7 million to replace state law enforcement radios that have “reached their end-of-life or end of support date,” to…

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‘Backdoor extension’ of state radios contract at issue in budget talks

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As legislative budget chairs powwow to finalize the budget, unresolved items in the state’s general government budget silo have left the door open for a move by holders of a large state contract to tip the scales in favor of its renewal down the road. A state panel under the Department of Management Services recommended a competitive bidding process back in January in order to procure an upgraded law enforcement radio system. The contract’s current vendor, Brevard County-based Harris Corp., recently…

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State task force considers competitive procurement process for law enforcement radios

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On Tuesday, the Department of Management Services’ Joint Task Force on State Agency Law Enforcement Communications once again discussed a business case from January which recommends a competitive bidding process to achieve the adoption of a suite of “P25” radio standards. As the state looks to upgrade its outmoded, analog law enforcement radio system the JTF panel reiterated going forward with the its current position, which is to have an open bidding process. Current vendor Harris Corporation based in Brevard County has…

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Another major corporation enters Florida’s state law enforcement radio fray

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Recently, Airbus (yes, that Airbus) joined the ranks of companies vying to build Florida’s next-generation statewide law enforcement radio system. According to a letter recently sent from Airbus to the Florida Joint Task Force on the Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System, the company is joining the chorus of calls for an open and competitive procurement for the system and radios, specifically supporting the recommendation made in March by the state’s top law enforcement officials. This is a game-changer for the…

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