Pasco winds up in the Rick Scott dustbin

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Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater

Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, acknowledged that the Senate took the brunt of Gov. Rick Scott’s $410 million in project vetoes in the $82 billion budget.

But Latvala said the vetoes have to be put into the perspective, because House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, limited efforts by his members to advance local spending initiatives.

“He didn’t let his members put in many projects. When you look at it percentage-wise of how many projects they started with and how many they ended up with, their percentage of loss was higher than ours,” Latvala said.

Latvala, who like Corcoran represents a portion of Pasco County, agreed the county was a popular target for Scott’s vetoes.

“Anything that had the word Pasco in it, hit the dust, whether they were in Corcoran’s district or not,” he said.

One of Scott’s vetoes eliminated $1.13 million for a conservation center at the Brevard County zoo. The sponsor of the project, oddly, was Latvala, who represents a Senate district on the opposite coast.

Asked about it, a grinning Latvala — who is mulling a run for governor — said: “I have a statewide perspective on making our state a better place all the way around.”

Posted by Lloyd Dunkelberger