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Florida TaxWatch In The News

Budget Turkets, Vetos and More.

 

Statewide Coverage. Statewide Impact.

Florida TaxWatch is constantly looking to spread the word about our research, recommendations, and programs, all in pursuit of serving each and every taxpayer in Florida. Below is just a selection of where we've popped up in the last few weeks!

 

 

 

 

 

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Morning Edition for 6/1/2021 (June 1, 2021)
LobbyTools
The COVID-19 pandemic has likely created broad changes in health care that will continue after the health crisis has subsided, from broader use of telemedicine and telehealth services to increased behavioral health needs that may go unmet, Florida TaxWatch said in a new report examining the pandemic's likely long-term effects on the state. Florida TaxWatch

Florida Trend Health Care: Biden administration sides with Florida on Canadian drug imports (May 31, 2021)
Florida Trend
Last week, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released “Beyond the Pandemic: Long Term Changes and Challenges for Health in Florida,” a report which addresses a unique confluence of factors that are contributing to important outcomes for the state’s health care system and consequently, the economy.

To veto or not to veto: Five tough decisions facing Gov. DeSantis (May 31, 2021)
Florida Politics
Lawmakers passed a record $101.5 billion budget, and, just like every year, Florida TaxWatch has found some questionable inclusions.

Takeaways from Tallahassee — Get Ready, Florida! (May 29, 2021)
Florida Politics
Florida TaxWatch also released its annual report on budget turkeys, line items they say lawmakers didn’t fully scrutinize. The fiscal watchdogs flagged 116 projects totaling $157.5 million, up from $136.3 million across 180 turkeys last year.

Alex Sanchez Proudly Represents the Nation's Economic Engine (May 28, 2021)
850 Business Magazine
Well, you might have to wait until Dominic Calabro at Florida TaxWatch gets onto it.

DUVAL SUPERINTENDENT RECOMMENDS SIX SCHOOLS BE RENAMED, DRESS CODES, FACE MASK POLICIES AND MORE (May 26, 2021)
redefinED
Among the budget “turkeys” that Florida TaxWatch is urging Gov. DeSantis to veto is $25 million for the Pasco-Hernando State College Center for Student Success and Community Engagement. It made the list because the amount approved was double what was requested. WUSF.

Jacksonville Bold for 5.26.21: Political sunset?
Florida Politics
The budget hawks at Florida TaxWatch released their 2021 “Turkey” this week, and Northeast Florida was almost nowhere in sight.
Turkeys, for the uninitiated, are appropriations that may not merit direct funding from the state government. They can include items from the so-called ‘sprinkle list,’ member projects that address stakeholder needs.

Lee lawmakers defend ‘turkey’ Ortiz Avenue widening (May 26, 2021)
Florida Politics
Florida’s roads eternally have crews resurfacing, expanding and rerouting them. But Florida TaxWatch suggests some of the asphalt being poured is pure pork. The fiscal hawks identified multiple projects in the Legislature’s budget as turkeys, including one top priority among Lee County lawmakers.

Jason Shoaf to Gov. DeSantis: Don’t veto ‘budget turkeys’ (May 26, 2021)
Florida Politics
Shoaf said state budgets put toward projects in rural areas, like his district, should not be judged to the same standards as the rest of the state.

TaxWatch eyes Hardee County in turkey targeting (May 26, 2021)
Florida Politics
Southwest Florida is represented nearly entirely by Republicans elected on fiscally conservative platforms. Still, a list of “turkeys” from Florida TaxWatch marked many a member project in the region for a recommended veto.

Cultural treasures in Naples, Sarasota tagged budget turkeys (May 26, 2021)
Florida Politics
Florida TaxWatch wasn’t in the mood to stop and smell (or grow) the roses this year. The group targeted plenty of cultural grants and park expenditures in Southwest Florida in its list of turkeys in the Legislature’s budget.

Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 5.26.21 (May 26, 2021)
Florida Politics (Sunburn)
"Cultural treasures in Naples, Sarasota tagged budget turkeys
TaxWatch eyes Hardee County in Turkey targeting” 
TaxWatch President Dominic Calabro talks about long-term changes in health care beyond the pandemic.

Cost Savings, Rising Awareness Boosting Palliative Care Growth (May 25, 2021)
Hospice News
Home-based palliative care could reduce societal health care costs by $103 billion within the next 20 years, the nonprofit economic research group Florida TaxWatch said in a 2019 report.

Floridians’ decisions to forgo non-COVID-19 -related health care expected to have long-term ramifications (May 25, 2021)
The Capitolist
During the early months of the pandemic, many Floridians decided to forgo non-COVID-19 -related care – primarily due to safety concerns and government directives to limit elective surgeries. What consequences will this have on Florida and its citizens moving forward?

Florida TaxWatch Releases its List of Budget Turkeys (May 25, 2021)
Florida Daily
On Monday, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released its 2021 Budget Turkey Watch Report, an independent review of the state’s FY 2021-22 budget.

The Afternoon Shortlist – Tuesday, May 25, 2021 (May 25, 2021)
Sayfie Review

Florida TaxWatch Releases Budget ‘Turkey’ Report (May 25, 2021)
The Tennessee Star
On Monday Florida TaxWatch released their annual Budget Turkey Watch Report, a report designed to ensure budget oversight and accountability in the Florida legislative process.

Also published by:
Florida Capital Star

Florida TaxWatch labels three North Central Florida projects “budget turkeys” (May 25, 2021)
WCJB
Three projects in North Central Florida are being called “budget turkeys” by Florida TaxWatch.
The watchdog group identified 116 projects in the state budget that did not follow the standard budgeting process.

Florida TaxWatch recommends Gov. DeSantis veto $19M in Panhandle budget projects (May 25, 2021)
Florida Politics
Florida TaxWatch has flagged more than $19 million in projects out of Northwest Florida the organization believes Gov. Ron DeSantis should veto from the 2021 state budget.

Also published in:
The Capitolist “Recap” daily email for May 25, 2021

Florida TaxWatch: ‘Budget turkeys’ down, but still too much murk in project spending
The Center Square
It’s been a post-session tradition since 1983 for Florida TaxWatch (FTW), the Tallahassee-based taxpayer advocacy nonprofit, to produce an annual “budget turkey” list of “individual appropriations that circumvent a thoughtful and thorough budget process.”

Florida TaxWatch 'turkey' list takes aim at NSB Old Fort, Woman's Club funding (May 25, 2021)
Daytona Beach News Journal
Florida TaxWatch has targeted the New Smyrna Beach projects among 116 appropriations worth $157.5 million as budget turkeys. TaxWatch, a nonpartisan government watchdog organization funded by business interests, has prepared a budget turkey list annually since 1986.


More than 10 million Floridians vaccinated — State shutting down testing sites — Medicaid expansion benefits (May 25, 2021)
POLITICO Pro's Florida Health Care
Ahead of looming budget action by the governor the business-backed research outfit Florida TaxWatch came out on Monday with its annual list of questionable spending items that the group labels “budget turkeys.”

How Matt Gaetz helped define Ron DeSantis — FSU trustees pick Harvard’s Richard McCullough to take helm — Burgeoning water projects list deserves scrutiny, Florida TaxWatch says (May 25, 2021)
POLITICO Pro's Tallahassee Brief
GOBBLE GOBBLE — POLITICO's Bruce Ritchie:Florida TaxWatch, in issuing its annual budget "turkey watch" report on Monday, called on Gov. DeSantis to closely look at and perhaps veto water projects in the state budget. 

Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 5.25.21 (May 25, 2021)
Florida Politics (Sunburn)
Florida TaxWatch releases 2021 Budget Turkey Watch report” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics — Florida TaxWatch released its 2021 Budget Turkey Watch report Monday, which spotlights 116 appropriations for DeSantis to reconsider.

TaxWatch Recommends $175 million in Budget Vetos (May 24, 2021)
Capitol News Service
Florida TaxWatch found 116 projects in the state budget totaling more than $157 million that is argues did not follow the standard budgeting process.

Also published in:
WJHG

Chamber tool casts light on local government fiscal management (May 24, 2021)
The Center Square
Diaz’s bill stalled but the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida TaxWatch, the Tallahassee-based taxpayer advocacy nonprofit, offer interactive tools that provide comparative transparency into local government finances.

TaxWatch identifies $157.5 million in ‘budget turkeys’ improperly added to 2021-22 Florida budget (May 24, 2021)
Florida Phoenix
Florida TaxWatch, an independent budget watchdog organization, has identified more than $157.5 million in  so-called “budget turkeys” that it says the Legislature included outside the formal rules within its $101.5 billion budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.


Florida TaxWatch chief Dominic Calabro. Credit: State Library and Archives of Florida

Also published in:
The Capitolist “Recap” daily email for May 25, 2021
Patch

Florida TaxWatch recommends Governor veto nearly $28M in South Florida budget projects (May 24, 2021)
Florida Politics
Florida TaxWatch says Gov. Ron DeSantis should veto close to $28 million in projects across South Florida’s tri-county area contained in the 2021-22 state budget.

TaxWatch wants DeSantis to scrutinize $116.6M in water projects (May 24, 2021)
POLITICO Florida
Florida TaxWatch, in issuing its annual budget "turkey watch" report on Monday, called on Gov. DeSantis to closely look at and perhaps veto water projects in the state budget.

TAXWATCH TAKES AIM AT 116 BUDGET ‘TURKEYS’ / These 116 Budget 'Turkeys' Should Be Vetoed, Florida TaxWatch Says (May 24, 2021)
News Service of Florida
TALLAHASSEE --- In a sign of how Florida’s economic outlook has changed over the past year, Florida TaxWatch isn’t emphatically calling for Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto all of the “turkeys” it has identified in a record spending plan passed by lawmakers.

Also published in:
WUSF
WMBB
WGCU
Tallahassee Democrat
Highlands News-Sun

Rail safety, manatee help among TaxWatch’s Central Florida turkeys (May 24, 2021)
Florida Politics
Florida TaxWatch identified a dozen line items for Central Florida projects the tax watchdog group calls state budget turkeys this year, including money to help with higher-speed rail safety improvements and to help save Florida’s starving manatees.

Government watchdog scrutinizes funding for Florida’s dying manatees (May 24, 2021)
Florida Politics
But even Florida TaxWatch is going soft on Florida’s beloved sea cows, a keystone of Florida wildlife. In the group’s annual budget turkey report, which calls out budget appropriations that are not “core functions of government” and subject to “formal, competitive selection processes,” the group acknowledged “Florida’s manatees are in crisis.” More than 700 manatees have died so far this year.

Florida TaxWatch releases 2021 Budget Turkey Watch Report (May 24, 2021)
Florida Politics
By design, the annual report identifies appropriation items the non-profit watchdog believes sidestepped proper scrutiny.
Florida TaxWatch released its 2021 Budget Turkey Watch report Monday, which spotlights 116 appropriations for Gov. Ron DeSantis to reconsider.

Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 5.24.21 (May 24, 2021)
Florida Politics (Sunburn)
Happening today — Florida TaxWatch announces its annual report on “turkeys” — wasteful spending — in the 2021-2022 state budget, 11 a.m., Florida TaxWatch, 106 North Bronough St., Tallahassee. 
Florida TaxWatch is releasing its annual list of legislative projects that somehow made their way into the new budget without following the usual procedure. It’s called the “Turkey List” and TaxWatch will be recommending that the Governor use his line-item veto power to hunt them down.

ADVANCES: Week of May 23, 2021 (May 21, 2021)
News Service of Florida
BUDGET ‘TURKEYS’ DETAILED: Florida TaxWatch will release a report about questionable spending --- dubbed “turkeys” --- in the proposed 2021-2022 state budget. (Monday, 11 a.m., Florida TaxWatch, 106 North Bronough St., Tallahassee.

Property owners demand lower tax rate; St. Lucie County says, 'Account for growth' (May 20, 2021) 
TCPalm
A Florida TaxWatch report released in 2019 found the county's average total property-tax rate was 22.9 mills —  the highest in Florida — and is the catalyst behind taxpayers' growing frustrations.

Rising Demand Driving Private Equity Interest in Palliative Care (May 19, 2021)
Hospice News
Home-based palliative care could reduce societal health care costs by $103 billion within the next 20 years, the nonprofit economic research group Florida TaxWatch said in a 2019 report.

16-year-old Largo student battling blindness and graduating early awarded college scholarship
16-year-old Jacquelyn Schrimer was surprised with a 2-year Florida prepaid scholarship by Florida Taxwatch (May 19, 2021)
WFLA NBC TampaTAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It was a dream come true for a 16-year-old student at Pinellas Park High School. Jacquelyn Schirmer was surprised with a 2-year Florida prepaid scholarship from nonprofit Florida Taxwatch. 

 
 
 
 

 

Radio & Television

 

WCJB (ABC) – Gainesville 5/24/2021 5:25:25 PM
WCTV (CBS) – Tallahassee 5/24/2021 5:32:30 PM
Central Florida News 13 5/24/2021 5:36:02 PM
WFLA-TB (NBC) 5/24/2021 5:37:15 PM

Great 38 (WTTA) – Tampa 5/20/2021 7:11:14 AM
WFLA-TB (NBC) – Tampa 5/20/2021 5:05:52 AM
Great 38 (WTTA) – Tampa 5/19/2021 8:36:50 PM
WFLA-TB (NBC) – Tampa 5/19/2021 5:37:42 PM
WFLA-TB (NBC) – Tampa 5/19/2021 4:24:13 PM
Sunrise: A Florida Politics Podcast – Turkey Talk – May 24, 2021
News Radio 610 WIOD – Miami 5/24/2021 4:03:52 PM
WMBB (ABC) – Panama City 5/24/2021 5:06:39 PM (CST)
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/24/2021 6:15:17 PM
WJHG (NBC) – Panama City 5/24/2021 5:29:04 PM (CST)
WECP-TV – Panama City 5/24/2021 5:35:17 PM (CST)
Central Florida News 13 5/24/2021 6:35:48 PM
WMBB (ABC) – Panama City 5/24/2021 6:03:17 PM (CST)
WJHG (NBC) – Panama City 5/24/2021 6:18:07 PM (CST)
Central Florida News 13 5/24/2021 7:35:50 PM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/24/2021 8:16:04 PM 
Central Florida News 13 5/24/2021 8:35:49 PM 
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/24/2021 9:15:58 PM
Central Florida News 13 5/24/2021 9:36:01 PM
WCJB (ABC) – Gainesville 5/24/2021 11:06:09 PM
WMBB (ABC) – Panama City 5/24/2021 10:08:21 PM (CST)
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/24/2021 11:34:23 PM
Central Florida News 13 5/24/2021 11:39:07 PM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/25/2021 12:33:48 AM
Central Florida News 13 5/25/2021 12:38:21 AM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/25/2021 1:34:50 AM

Central Florida News 13 5/25/2021 1:38:49 AM
WCJB (ABC) – Gainesville 5/25/2021 2:11:55 AM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/25/2021 2:34:51 AM
Central Florida News 13 5/25/2021 2:38:49 AM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/25/2021 3:34:51 AM
Central Florida News 13 5/25/2021 3:38:49 AM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/25/2021 4:34:51 AM
Central Florida News 13 5/25/2021 4:38:49 AM
WCJB (ABC) – Gainesville 5/25/2021 5:33:49 AM
WCJB (ABC) – Gainesville 5/25/2021 8:28:23 AM
WUSF (89.7 FM) 5/25/2021 5:44:44 AM
Sunrise: A Florida Politics Podcast – Cut off – May 25, 2021
TFC News Brief – 5/24/21 4:26
WCJB (ABC) – Gainesville 5/25/2021 12:06:02 PM
WFTV-ORD (ABC) – Orlando 5/25/2021 5:17:28 PM
Sunrise: A Florida Politics Podcast – Whitewash – May 26, 2021
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/31/2021 6:35:07 AM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/31/2021 7:35:13 AM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/31/2021 8:35:08 AM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/31/2021 9:35:37 AM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/31/2021 11:35:18 AM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/31/2021 12:07:18 PM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/31/2021 1:07:05 PM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/31/2021 2:07:19 PM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/31/2021 3:07:15 PM
Bay News 9 – Tampa Bay 5/31/2021 4:07:15 PM
WJCT – Jacksonville 5/28/2021 6:40:58 PM 
WJCT – Jacksonville 5/28/2021 6:44:46 PM

 

 
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