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Rick Scott does an about face on high-speed rail from Orlando to Tampa. (Image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Cost to protect Rick Scott rises to $2.5 million

Protecting Gov. Rick Scott cost the state $2.5 million last fiscal year, up from $2.3 million the year before.

That’s according to a new report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The combined cost to guard the governor, First Lady Ann Scott, their family, and the Governor’s Mansion and grounds was roughly $3.25 million in 2017-18, up more than a quarter-million dollars from 2016-17 ($2.99 million).

The annual Report of Transportation and Protective Services, released Wednesday, also shows individual costs for 37 protective details for “visiting dignitaries.”

All costs include agents’ and officers’ salary and any overtime, plus the cost of transportation and other expenses. That total was about $50,000.

That’s down from last fiscal year, when 75 protective details were performed at a cost of $304,000, last year’s report shows.

For example, the Feb. 20-21 visit from U.S. Second Lady Karen Pence – who gets Secret Service protection – came in at just $406.

The most expensive visit was March 23-27, by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and his family: $6,553. It was listed as “personal.”

State law authorizes security and transportation for anyone “whom the failure to provide security or transportation could result in a clear and present danger to the personal safety of such persons, or to the safety of other persons or property within this state, or could result in public embarrassment to the state.”

Written By

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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