Lawyered Up? A Look at What Florida Has Spent Money On

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Associated Press has documented that since Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011, agencies under his control as well as the Florida Legislature and Cabinet officials have spent more than $250 million on private attorneys. Here’s a look at some of the spending on outside lawyering Florida taxpayers have had to pay for under Republican leadership:

—More than $100 million in fees paid to lawyers by state agencies, including an expensive water rights struggle with Georgia. The water wars have been waged for nearly 20 years, but costs soared after Scott pushed to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. This total also includes money billed by lawyers defending the actions of the Legislature and governor.

— Nearly $16 million paid to opposing lawyers after losing battles over voting rights, gay marriage, drug testing and other controversial policies. This includes $12 million to attorneys who represented pediatricians who contended Florida violated federal mandates by failing to deliver critical health services to 2 million children on Medicaid; more than $800,000 to lawyers working for the American Civil Liberties Union; and nearly $513,000 to lawyers who defeated a state law targeting businesses doing business in Cuba.

— Nearly $20 million spent by the Legislature defending budgets that advocates say shortchange public schools and Republican-drawn legislative and congressional districts. The state won the education lawsuit at its first turn, but the courts sided against them on districts and approved changes that upended the state’s political landscape.

— About $111 million since 2011 through its risk management division on legal cases over auto accidents, employment disputes and worker’s compensation claims against state government.

___

Sources: Budget documents, state correspondence and information from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater’s office.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Tampa

Kids Rock Science presented by Tampa Bay Water & TECO - at MOSICome be inspired by STEM exhibits at CW44's Kids Rock Science presented by Tampa Bay Water and TECO Saturday, April 15th from 10a-2p at MOSI.
Fake News: Tips On How to Distinguish it from the Real ThingTeachers from elementary school through college are instructing students on how to decipher fact from fiction when it comes to online news, after an election season that saw made-up stories abound.

Listen Live