Jack Latvala, Larry Ahern trade budget jabs on Twitter
Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, discusses Senate Bill 10: Water Resources Tuesday April 4, 2017 at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. The bill aims to prevent toxic discharges from overflowing out of Lake Okeechobee. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

Jack Latvala

With 10 days until the scheduled end of the 2017 Legislative Session and no allocations on the desk, it’s fair to say things are getting a little heated in Tallahassee.

Case in point: An exchange between Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala and House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Larry Ahern on Twitter over the House’s proposed standard operating, or continuation, budget.

As news spread Sunday the House had offered a so-called continuation budget, Latvala, a Clearwater Republican took to Twitter to question why the offer was being made.

“A continuation budget is just putting our names on former legislators’ work,” he tweeted around 8 p.m. Sunday night. “Aren’t we better than that?”

That tweet hung out there until about 3 p.m. Monday, when Seminole Republican retweeted Latvala’s quote and asked: “What are you doing as Appropriation Chairman to facilitate a compromise that makes it unnecessary?”

Hours later, Latvala shot back asking Ahern why he couldn’t “find a single project worthy of funding in Pinellas?” Latvala is the chairman of the 10-member of the Pinellas County legislative delegation, of which Ahern is a member.

Ahern’s response came this morning: “My project funding approach is more statewide. Over half have some benefit directly to Pinellas. About 9 million dollar’s worth.”

Latvala, who spent most of his morning in the Senate Appropriations Committee meeting, hasn’t replied. The House Appropriations Committee, meanwhile, passed its so-called standard operating budget during a meeting this morning.

Staff Reports

One comment

  • Jodi Hart

    April 25, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    A great program to establish in Pinellas county and all of South Florida is more young adult training programs for young adults with disabilities. Also, more money allocated to the Florida Medicaid Waiver program would help young adults thrive. Many young adults with disabilities deserve to thrive and have their potential maximized. There is a huge gap and shortage of decent choice programs in Florida. Especially, Miami-Dade County. I am sure Pinellas county would benefit from these services greatly as well. When students with disabilities max out of the Florida public school or charter system at age 22 the public school system no longer pays to help these students. Therefore, they are stuck home with having no structure and nothing to do. Most parents are not wealthy and cannot afford to pay privately for a program.

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