TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The King Air twin-engine plane belongs to the Department of Law Enforcement, but it will be up to the new governor to recommend something newer and faster for the chief executive.
Former Governor Rick Scott had a net worth of well over $200 million, so it was easy for the Governor to fly on his own jet. He even bought a new one while he was in office, but not so for now-Governor Ron DeSantis. He was driving an old pickup until he was elected.
“I will not be traveling on my own private jet," said DeSantis Monday. "If you look at my financial disclosures that's just the way it is.”
Scott put the state jet and a King Air on the auction block the day after taking office.
“It’s a campaign, promise and I’m going to live up to them," said Scott in 2011.
So DeSantis has spent the last two days traveling the state in a plane that once belonged to a drug dealer.
“FDLE does have a plane that was seized, a drug seizure that’s been upgraded," said DeSantis.
The new Governor says the abuses that led to cabinet members using the old planes to fly home won’t happen with the plane he’s using.
“It’s not going to be like the old state planes where the Cabinet and other people could do it," said DeSantis. "It flows from their responsibility to protect me.”
Last year, legislative budget writers made it clear that they wanted to put money in the budget for a new jet for the new governor, but then-Governor Rick Scott made it clear he would veto it.
Now the new governor must decide if he will recommend buying or leasing a plane when he proposes his first budget in early February. DeSantis will also have to consider his limited time.
The King Air flies at just over 300 miles an hour while a jet can travel as fast as 500.
The state sold its two planes in 2011 for just under a total of $4 million.
A new jet can cost upwards of $20 million.