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.
“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?”
A continuation budget is just putting our names on former legislators’ work. Aren’t we better than that?
— Senator Jack Latvala (@JackLatvala) April 24, 2017
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?”
Good question Senator. What are you doing as Appropriations Chairman to facilitate a compromise that makes it unnecessary? https://t.co/1tCKxP6Pps
— Larry Ahern (@Larry_Ahern) April 24, 2017
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.
@Larry_Ahern Question for you- why as House Higher Ed Approps chair could you not find a single project worthy of funding in Pinellas?
— Senator Jack Latvala (@JackLatvala) April 25, 2017
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.”
@JackLatvala My project funding approach is more statewide.Over half have some benefit directly to Pinellas. About 9 million dollars worth.
— Larry Ahern (@Larry_Ahern) April 25, 2017
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.