TaxWatch Reports Record Number of Government "Turkeys" in Florida

Rep. Curtis Richardson was hopping mad when he heard his effort to get $350,000 in state funding for black history museums like the Riley House landed on TaxWatch’s annual budget turkey list.

Rep. Curtis Richardson, (D) Tallahassee, said, "It’s a network of African-American history museums that are there to preserve and protect African-American history and culture in this state.”

More than $300,000 for a dog track in Pensacola also earned a turkey label. So did $4 million for an FSU med school program in Immokalee, $5 million to pay off debt on the Leon County Civic Center, and $9 million for seaport dredging, to name a few.

This year’s budget turkey list identifies nearly $300 million worth of projects from every part of the state as either having not gone through the proper channels, or not met statutory requirements.

TaxWatch President Dominic Calabro unveiled the list with his customary turkey call, but kidding aside, Calabro says even worthwhile projects have to go through proper channels. After all, we’re talking about taxpayers’ dollars.

Dominic Calabro said, "If you’re going to take somebody’s money and say you have to pay it, we better be sure that we have a process to ensure equity, fairness, and the rule of law."

Jeb Bush will have the final say on whether or not this year’s budget turkeys survive. Gov. Bush is expected to sign this year’s state budget in a Capitol ceremony Thursday.