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$379 million for the department

CONTACT: Robert Sanchez
Public Information Administrator

June 5, 2002

TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s highways will be safer – and its security improved – thanks to the increased funding for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in the Fiscal 2002-03 appropriations bill signed by Governor Jeb Bush, which provides a total of $379 million for the department.

In particular, the Florida Highway Patrol’s effectiveness will be enhanced by the appropriation of $6.9 million to purchase additional laptop computers to be used in FHP vehicles. These will enable troopers to check the records of drivers and motor vehicles more efficiently, thereby enhancing the troopers’ safety during traffic stops. The laptops will also simplify the processing and transmission of crash reports and traffic citations.

The new budget includes $5 million to continue improvements in the FHP’s radio communications system, $1.2 million for a new FHP station near Ocala, and $2 million for overtime pay for troopers, which effectively puts more troopers on the road statewide.

Lawmakers also provided funding to add 28 new trooper positions to patrol the expanded Florida’s Turnpike System, and $7.5 million for the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy. That academy, which is located in Gadsden County just west of Tallahassee, will provide training for all state law-enforcement officers – including state troopers after the Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy is relocated there.

In addition, the budget provides $540,000 to the Department’s Division of Driver Licenses to deter driver license fraud and identity theft.

"We know that this year’s legislative session began in a climate of uncertainty because of the terrorist attacks’ effect on tourism and on the state government’s revenue picture," said DHSMV Executive Director Fred O. Dickinson.

"Therefore, we are very appreciative that the Governor and the Legislature saw fit to provide us with funding that not only enables us to carry on our essential work, but to enhance our effectiveness."

2002 Press Releases       DHSMV Press Releases

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