Senate budget chief won’t let go of guv’s planes saleby Dara Kam | February 23rd, 2011
Senate Budget Chairman J.D. Alexander challenged Gov. Rick Scott publicly Wednesday over the way the governor sold the state’s air fleet earlier this month.
Alexander, who supported selling the state’s two airplanes, contends that Scott violated state law in the manner in which he sold the planes without routing the money through the state treasury.
Alexander, R-Lake Wales, last week sent Scott a letter questioning the way the governor’s office sold the planes and used the cash from the deal to pay off a lease on one of the two planes.
Scott insists he had the authority to do the deals.
But on Tuesday, Alexander sent a second letter to Scott disputing that and asking Scott to name the legal authority he had to sell assets and spend the proceeds without an appropriation from the Legislature, which constitutionally has control of the government’s pocketbook.
“The executive branch or anybody else doesn’t have the unilateral authority to direct those funds somewhere else. So that’s the issue,” Alexander told fellow senators on the Senate Budget Committee Wednesday.
“I certainly have been on record for five-years-plus for selling the planes. It’s just not about that, but there is a proper way to do things. And the proper way is to deposit all the receipts into the treasury of the state so that it can be recorded and properly disbursed under budget authority.”
Alexander said the Legislature had offered to help the governor with the sale by amending the budget through its Joint Legislative Budget Commission, but the offer had been rebuffed.
“Unfortunately, they determined they didn’t need to do that,” Alexander said. ”We are very strongly asserting that that is required.”
- Aaron Deslatte of The Orlando Sentinel contributed to this blog.