After a decade pause, earmarks – or “member-directed appropriations requests” – are back in the federal budgetary process and 16 of Florida’s 27 Congressional reps are asking for pieces of the pork pie.
Florida lawmakers have filed 167 earmarks in the federal budget seeking more than $316 million in funding for a range of programs and projects, including $21 million for Charlotte County’s Harborview Road project, $15 million for Pasco County Ridge Road extension project and $13.5 million for Florida International University’s PET/Cyclotron Center.
All 10 Florida Congressional Democrats posted earmarks with 105 funding requests totaling $162 million. The late Democratic Rep. Alcee Hasting’s seat is vacant until a January 2022 special election determines his successor.
Six of Florida’s 16 GOP Congressional reps filed 62 earmarks seeking $154.6 million in federal project and program funding.
In March, 102 Republicans secretly voted to support a Democratic proposal to bring back earmarks, which had been prohibited since 2011. House Republicans have also lifted the earmark ban in its caucus rules, but 10 of Florida’s 16 Republican reps opted not to seek any discretionary spending appropriations for their congressional districts.
Overall, according to OpenTheBooks.com, 3,309 earmarks were filed by 324 U.S. House reps – 220 Democrats and 104 Republicans – collectively topping $9.7 billion.
Democrats requested 2,338 earmarks for $4.94 billion, OpenTheBooks documents, while Republicans requested 971 earmarks for $4.7 billion. Six of the top eight earmark requests, and 14 of the top 25, were filed by Republicans
According to OpenTheBooks.com’s district-by-district earmark map, Florida reps filed 91 earmark requests topping $1 million each.
The site also ranks representatives by dollar amounts in their combined requests. Rep, Kathy Castor, who filed 18 earmarks totaling $54 million, ranked the highest at 40.
Next comes Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Miami, with 16 earmarks seeking $45.677 million (No. 52); Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, 10 earmarks, $37 million (No. 68); Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-New Port Richey; (No. 81) and Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Sunrise, with eight totaling $28 million (No. 92).
Here is a breakdown of all 16 Florida reps’ earmark requests:
Rep. Kathy Castor: Her 18 earmarks include 14 that seek more than $1 million each in funding. They include:
- $9.196 million for Tampa’s Brorein Street Bridge project;
- $7.7 million for Tampa, Florida Department of Transportation, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority InVision Tampa Streetcar project;
- $6.99 million for Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority bus shelter revitalization and expansion project;
- $6 million for Tampa’s 30th Street sidewalk project;
- $5.116 million for Tampa’s Cass Street Bridge project;
- $3.5 million for Port Tampa Bay Southbay Road project;
- $2.587 million for Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute;
- $2.49 million for Mental Health Care, Inc at Mariposa Women’s Neuropsychiatric Hospital;
- $2.2 million for Tampa, Florida Department of Transportation Floribraska project;
- $2.125 million for University Area Community Development Corp.;
Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar: Twelve of 16 earmarks totaling $45.677 million top $1 million each. They include:
- $10.4 million for 00,000 Miami-Dade County/PortMiami’s North Cruise Boulevard extension project;
- $8.8 million for Cutler Bay’s Marlin Road project;
- $5 million for Miami Beach’s Mount Sinai Medical Center hardening and resiliency project;
- $4.33 million for a South Miami pedestrian bridge project.
Rep. Greg Steube: Eight of 10 earmarks collectively amounting to $37 million are for $1 million each or more. They include:
- $21 million for Charlotte County’s Harborview Road project;
- $3.5 million for the Child Protection Center, Inc.;
- $3.2 million for Charlotte County;
- $2.5 million for Army Corps of Engineers;
- $2 million for DeSoto County.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis: Eight of 12 earmarks totaling $31.74 million are for $1 million or more. They include:
- $15 million for Pasco County Ridge Road extension project;
- $5 million for the reconstruction Dunedin Causeway Bridge;
- $2 million for mental health collaborative project between Premier Community Health Center and Community Health Centers of Pinellas County;
- $1.75 million for Dade City wastewater treatment plant relocation;
- $1.75 million for Pinellas County consolidated Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) System;
- $1.6 million for Oldsmar street drainage project;
- $1.5 million for Zephyrhills wastewater system improvement;
- $1 million for ,Pasco County community park site acquisition.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Seven of her eight earmarks, which collectively total $28 million, are for more than $1 million each. They include:
- $13.5 million for Florida International University’s PET/Cyclotron Center ;
- $5 million for Broward College’s Broward UP program;
- $2 million for the Sunrise storm water pump station project;
- $1.93 million for Nova Southeastern University emerging technologies equipment;
- $1.84 million for Davie drainage improvements;
- $1.7 million for Hollywood Police body-worn cameras;
- $1.5 million for Dania Beach water project.
Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota: Eight of 10 earmarks seeking $25.7 million in funding are for $1 million or more. They include:
- $10 million for Mote Marine Laboratory Education Aquarium;
- $2.9 million for Manatee County Palmetto Trails;
- $2.578 million for city of Sarasota wetlands;
- $2 million for PACE Center for Girls in Bradenton;
- $2 million for the Bay Park Conservancy;
- $1.96 million for Easter Seals of Southwest Florida;
- $1.5 million for All Star Children’s Foundation of Florida;
- $1.43 million for the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.
Rep. Al Lawson, Jr., D-Tallahassee: Nine of 10 earmarks totaling $15.6 million are for $1 million or more. They include:
- $2 million for Tallahassee Community College’s Commercial Vehicle Driving (CDL) program expansion;
- $2 million for Clara White Missions’ Meg Fisher White Harvest Farms & Market Project;
- $2 million to expand Eugene Lamb Jr. Recreation Center;
- $2 million for the Jacksonville Urban League Economic & Community Development Foundation;
- $2 million the South City Foundation Inc.;
- $1.6 million for the Lake Henrietta Stormwater Facility
- $1.5 million for University of Florida Floridians for the Workforce program.
Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Tampa: Five of nine earmarks totaling $12.673 million are for $1 million or more. They include:
- $4 million for the Pathfinder Outdoor Education program at the St. Petersburg Science Center;
- $2.398 million for the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research Foundation;
- $2 million for the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science to address flooding risks;
- $1.5 million Imagine Clearwater;
- $1.2 million for Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Doral: Three of 10 earmarks totaling $12 million are for $1 million or more, including $6 million for Everglades City’s wastewater treatment plant and $1 million for Everglades City Chokoloskee master pump station and Miami-Dade County Safe Drinking Water Project.
Rep. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee: Five of 10 earmarks totaling $9.6 million are for $1 million or more, including $2.5 million for the city of St. Cloud.
Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Hollywood: Three of 10 earmarks totaling $7.5 million are for more than $1 million, including $2.2 million for the Thelma Gibson Health Initiative at the Bahamian Museum of Arts & Culture, $1.7 million for Hollywood Police Department body-worn cameras and $1.141 million for a North Miami Beach drainage project.
Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Boca Raton: Three of 10 earmarks totaling $6.78 million are for more than $1 million, including $1.136 million for the Caridad Center and $1 million for Recuperative Care Palm Beach County.
Rep. Val Demings, D-Orlando: Two of 10 earmarks totaling $6.73 million are for more than $1 million, including $1.5 million for Apopka Northwest Water Production Plant and $1.2 million for Orlando Police Department body-worn cameras project.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Winter Park: Two of 10 earmarks totaling $6.16 million are for $1 million or more, including $1.2 million for Orlando Police Department body-worn cameras and $1.2 million for Sanford Airport Authority storm water management system.
Rep. Theodore Deutch, D-Ft. Lauderdale: No requests of more than $1 million in his 10 earmarks, which collectively total $5.174 million. His largest earmark is $900,000 for water infrastructure projects in Oakland Park, Wilton Manors and Fort Lauderdale.
Rep. John Rutherford, R-Jacksonville: One of four earmarks totaling $2.6 million is for more than $1 million – $1.2 million the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s renewable energy generation program for electric vehicles.
This article was originally posted on 16 Florida congressional reps file 167 ‘earmarks’ seeking $316M in project funding