According to the Orlando Sentinel, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp flew on state planes 365 times in the past two years – billing taxpayers $425,000. 2/3 of the flights were to Kottkamp’s home in Fort Myers. For 70 of those times, the plane flew empty one way to either drop him off or pick him up. In addition, Kottkamp’s wife and young son flew for free on about two dozen trips, despite rules requiring them to pay. Those flights cost taxpayers $12,974. The Governor’s Office was quick to say that Kottkamp would reimburse the government for his family’s flights.
But here’s the real kicker.
Until July, Florida law barred public officials from using state airplanes to commute. But that changed when legislators quietly inserted language into a massive budget bill that now allows Florida’s top officials to use government aircraft to fly home.
Florida has six pilots, a jet and a turboprop plane to whisk the governor, lieutenant governor, Cabinet members, House and Senate leaders and the Supreme Court chief justice wherever they need to go for state business.
The cost is considerable. Florida budgets $3.5 million annually for the service […].
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