Florida Spends 50 Million on Gasoline

Todd Hills does a lot of driving. He pastors a church and shuttles kids all over the state. “We do a lot of transporting and carpooling and gas prices like they are it adds up quick.”

Todd spends more than six thousand dollars a year on gas.

Reporter: How do you budget for that?

“Cross your fingers and hope nothing else happens when you get ready to fill it up,” said Todd.

But that’s pocket change to the state that’s seen its gas budget soar to more than 50 million dollars this year. That’s up five million dollars from 2010.

There’s no policy forcing state workers to save gas, but there is a state law requiring agencies to buy fuel efficient vehicles and another statute requiring regular maintenance on cars.

The Florida Highway Patrol is cutting its part of the state fuel budget by shopping around for the cheapest gas, patrolling less and using radar more strategically.

“We use more stationary radar, laser detail, versus just driving around,” said FHP Trooper Ryan Martina.

Governor Rick Scott says he hasn’t directly addressed the issue with his agency heads, but he’s concerned about all spending. “Gas is one of the issues, but in every agency we have to watch how we spend money.”

In the coming months, the state will begin exploring more ways to cut fuel costs. One option to save money on gas is selling some of the state’s 26-thousand vehicles.

Even though the state is spending a huge chunk of change on gas, it’s still less than one percent of Florida’s 70 billion dollars state budget.

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